CFNAI Indicates Economic Activity Improved Slightly in June
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was –0.32 in June, a small improvement from the May reading of –0.40. The negative value for the index in June reflected continued weakness in employment-related data; the contributions of other components to the CFNAI netted to slightly above zero. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, also improved a bit, from –0.70 in May to –0.58 in June. CFNAI-MA3 values below zero are associated with below-trend economic growth; accordingly, the CFNAI-MA3 value of –0.58 suggests that growth in national economic activity was well below its historical trend in June. However, the three-month period covered by the June CFNAI-MA3 includes April, when the CFNAI recorded its most negative monthly reading (–1.04) associated with the economy’s reaction to the conflict in Iraq. With regard to inflation, CFNAI-MA3 values below zero signal reduced inflationary pressures over the coming year.