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Chicago Fed National Activity Index slowed in January
Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to –0.16 in January from +0.18 in December. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made positive contributions in January, but they were offset by continued weakness in the consumption and housing category.
The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to –0.10 in January from –0.14 in December, increasing for the third straight month. January’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was slightly below its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the amount of economic slack reflected in the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
The consumption and housing category’s contribution to the index improved from –0.43 in December to –0.38 in January, the first increase in five months. Housing starts increased to 596,000 annualized units in January from 520,000 in December, while building permits fell to 562,000 annualized units in January from 627,000 in the previous month.
Posted: February 24, 2011 Thursday 08:30 AM