On This PageNovember, No. 268
This article discusses how the Chicago Fed National Activity Index—a monthly index designed to gauge economic activity and related inflationary pressures—can be used as an indicator of business cycle turning points.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index and Business Cycles
Last Updated: 10/14/09
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index of U.S. economic activity constructed to summarize variation in 85 data series classified into four groups: production and income; employment, unemployment and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders and inventories. The index is designed as a coincident indicator of national economic activity and serves as a leading indicator of activity-related inflationary pressures. In this Chicago Fed Letter, the author reexamines the relationship between the CFNAI and business cycle turning points.