CFNAI Indicates Economy Activity Still Weak in April
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) declined in April, with the monthly index coming in at –0.85. Weak employment- and output-related data were the main factors behind April’s negative reading. Although the index again depicted a weak national economy, the underlying April data were influenced by geopolitical uncertainties that have now subsided. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, declined sharply from –0.43 in March to –0.90 in April as the February–April period spans the height of the uncertainties associated with the Iraq conflict. Since the most recent business cycle peak in March 2001, the only positive value of the CFNAI-MA3 has been +0.02, which occurred in July 2002.