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Chicago Fed National Activity Index continued to improve in April
Led by continued improvements in production- and employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to +0.29 in April, up from +0.13 in March. April marked the highest level of the index since December 2006 and the third time in the past four months that the index indicated above-average economic activity. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made positive contributions in April, while the consumption and housing category made the lone negative contribution.
The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to –0.03 in April from –0.09 in March, reaching its highest level since February 2007. April’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was very near its historical trend. With the index still slightly below trend, there remains some economic slack, suggesting subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
Production-related indicators made a contribution of +0.41 to the index in April, compared with +0.23 in March. Industrial production increased 0.8 percent in April after increasing 0.2 percent in March. In addition, manufacturing production increased 1.0 percent for the second straight month, and manufacturing capacity utilization rose to 70.8 percent in April from 70.0 percent in the previous month.
Posted: May 24, 2010 Monday 08:30 AM