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Chicago Fed National Activity Points to Little Change in Economic Growth in April
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved up to +0.23 in April from +0.11 in March. Fifty of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 35 made negative contributions. Thirty-five indicators improved from March to April, while 50 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, eight made negative contributions.
Production-related indicators contributed +0.27 to the CFNAI in April, up from +0.19 in March. Manufacturing industrial production increased by 0.5 percent in April after being unchanged in March. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.02 to the CFNAI in April, down slightly from +0.08 in March.
Employment-related indicators contributed +0.10 to the CFNAI in April, up from +0.04 in March. The civilian unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent in April from 4.1 percent in March. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI edged down to –0.05 in April from +0.02 in March. Housing starts decreased to 1,287,000 annualized units in April from 1,336,000 in March, and housing permits decreased to 1,352,000 annualized units in April from 1,377,000 in the previous month.
The CFNAI was constructed using data available as of May 17, 2018. At that time, April data for 51 of the 85 indicators had been published. For all missing data, estimates were used in constructing the index. The March monthly index value was revised to +0.32 from an initial estimate of +0.10, and the February monthly index value was revised to +0.73 from last month’s estimate of +0.98. Revisions to the monthly index can be attributed to two main factors: revisions in previously published data and differences between the estimates of previously unavailable data and subsequently published data. The revision to the March monthly index value was primarily due to the latter, while the revision to the February monthly index value was primarily due to the former.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) ticked up to +0.34 in April from +0.32 in March. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from March, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in April. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.46 in April from +0.23 in March.
Posted: May 21, 2018 Monday 08:30 AM