CFNAI Indicates Economic Activity Slowed in November
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was +0.55 in November, the highest value since March 2000 and a sharp increase from the upward-revised October reading of +0.19. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that comprise the index (see sidebar) made positive contributions last month; the employment-related category, however, made a small negative contribution. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, also increased sharply, from an upward-revised +0.01 in October to +0.33 in November, the highest reading since January 2000. CFNAI-MA3 values above zero are associated with above-trend economic growth; accordingly, the CFNAI-MA3 value of +0.33 suggests that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend in November. With regard to inflation, CFNAI-MA3 values above zero signal increased inflationary pressures over the coming year.