CFNAI Positive for the Second Consecutive Month
In March, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was above zero for the second consecutive month. The monthly index came in at +0.06, down slightly from its upward revised value of +0.08 in February. Before February, the index had been below zero for 19 consecutive months. The positive February and March index values more than offset the slight negative reading for January. As a result, the three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, moved into positive territory, rising to +0.03 in March from February’s upward revised value of –0.19. This was the fourth consecutive improvement in the CFNAI-MA3 and followed 20 consecutive months below zero. The steady improvement of the CFNAI-MA3 to a small positive value is a strong indication from the index that the national economy has returned to trend growth. Index values above zero, if sustained, signal increased inflationary pressures over the coming year.