The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to +0.29 in August from +0.75 in July. All four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in August, but three categories deteriorated from July. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, improved to +0.43 in August from +0.36 in July.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, edged down to +0.30 in August from +0.34 in July. Forty-nine of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in August, while 36 made negative contributions. Thirty-three indicators improved from July to August, while 52 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, ten made negative contributions.
Production-related indicators contributed +0.11 to the CFNAI in August, down from +0.40 in July. Industrial production moved up 0.4% in August after increasing 0.8% in the previous month. The contribution of the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI moved down to +0.03 in August from +0.07 in July.
The contribution of the employment, unemployment, and hours category to the CFNAI decreased to +0.12 in August from +0.38 in July. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in August after rising by 1,053,000 in the previous month. The personal consumption and housing category contributed +0.03 to the CFNAI in August, up from –0.09 in July. Personal consumption and housing indicators broadly improved from July.