From the Chicago Fed: Index Points to Slower Economic Growth in April
Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to –0.45 in April from +0.05 in March. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from March, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in April. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved down to –0.32 in April from –0.24 in March.
This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967.
This suggests economic activity was below the historical trend in April (using the three-month average).
According to the Chicago Fed:
The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories.
A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.