Economic Slowing Continued in April
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to –1.09 in April from a downward revised value of –0.87 in March. The April index reached a new low for the current period of economic slowing that began last July. Large employment losses combined with further contractions in industrial production to lower the CFNAI in April. The improvements originally reported in the March CFNAI were reversed primarily due to subsequent revisions to industrial production data. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, was –0.96 in April, a slight deterioration from the downward revised –0.94 value in March. April marked the tenth consecutive month that the CFNAI-MA3 was below zero, an indication of below-trend growth in the national economy and a sign of easing pressures on future inflation.