National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)
The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) provides a comprehensive weekly update on U.S. financial conditions in money markets, debt and equity markets and the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Because U.S. economic and financial conditions tend to be highly correlated, we also present an alternative index, the adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on financial conditions relative to current economic conditions.
The NFCI and ANFCI are updated on a weekly basis at 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and cover the time period through the previous Friday. When a federal holiday falls on a Wednesday or earlier in the week, the NFCI and ANFCI will be updated on Thursday.
Latest NFCI Release
Financial Conditions Little Changed in Week Ending March 17
The NFCI remained at –0.78 in the week ending March 17. The risk subindex edged down from the previous week, while the credit and leverage subindexes ticked up and the nonfinancial leverage subindex was unchanged.
The ANFCI ticked down from the previous week, to –0.01. The current level of the ANFCI indicates that financial conditions in the latest week were roughly consistent with what would typically be suggested by current economic conditions as captured by the three-month moving average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI-MA3) and three-month total inflation according to the Price Index for Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE). Tables and Data
Revisions to the NFCI and ANFCI
The history of the NFCI and the ANFCI can change from week to week depending on incoming data, data revisions and changes in the estimated weight given each financial indicator, although these changes tend to be very small. Because they include a number of monthly and quarterly financial indicators that are regularly revised, revisions to the NFCI and ANFCI will tend to be more pronounced near the beginning of each month. The ANFCI is additionally influenced by economic growth and inflation, as captured by the three-month moving average of the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI-MA3) and three-month total PCE inflation. As a result, it will tend to show larger revisions to its history over time.
Revisions to the ANFCI can be largely attributed to differences between incoming data on economic growth and inflation and their expected values based on the historical dynamics of the index. A downward revision to the ANFCI can be seen as stemming from one or both of the following factors: a lower than previously expected level of economic activity and a higher than previously expected rate of inflation. An upward revision to the ANFCI can be seen as stemming from one or both of the following factors: a higher than previously expected level of economic activity and a lower than previously expected rate of inflation.
More about the NFCI
The NFCI represents a common element taken from price, quantity and survey evidence on broad financial conditions with a unique set of desirable features:
- Weekly index frequency
- Historical coverage of nearly 40 years
- Broad coverage of financial markets (traditional and more recently developed)
- Quarterly, monthly and weekly variables with varied start and end dates
- Weights that reflect variables’ systemic and dynamic importance to the financial system
Like the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI), the NFCI is a weighted average of a large number of variables (105 measures of financial activity) each expressed relative to their sample averages and scaled by their sample standard deviations. The ANFCI removes the variation in the individual indicators attributable to economic activity and inflation — as measured by the three-month moving average of the Chicago Fed’s NAI and three-month percent change in the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index — before computing the index.