Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to -0.27 in November from -0.05 in October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from October, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in November.
The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to -0.14 in November from -0.20 in October. November’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was slightly below its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved up to -0.15 in November from -0.23 in October. Thirty-one of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in November, while 54 made negative contributions. Forty-one indicators improved from October to November, while forty-four indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 17 made negative contributions.
The contribution from production-related indicators to the CFNAI decreased to -0.20 in November from -0.01 in October. Total industrial production declined 0.4 percent in November after increasing 0.1 percent in October.
The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI decreased to -0.10 in November from -0.03 in October. Housing starts fell to 1,090,000 annualized units in November from 1,340,000 in October, and housing permits decreased to 1,201,000 annualized units in November from 1,260,000 in the previous month.
Employment-related indicators contributed +0.02 to the CFNAI in November, up slightly from +0.01 in October. The civilian unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November from 4.9 percent in October, and civilian nonagricultural employment increased by 135,000 in November after increasing by 77,000 in the previous month. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.01 to the CFNAI in November, up from -0.02 in October.