U.S. Economy Faltered in August
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to –1.37 in August from an upward revised value of –0.25 in July. Contributing to the sharp decline in the August index were large drops in industrial production and employment. (The index released today is for the month of August and does not reflect economic disruptions that have occurred since September 11.) The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, was –1.05 in August, down from –0.83 in July. August marked the fourteenth consecutive month that the CFNAI-MA3 was below zero, an indication that the national economy has been growing below trend for over a year. Index values below zero also signal reduced inflationary pressures over the next year.