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Chicago Fed National Activity Index improved in March
Led by gains in production indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to +0.26 in March from +0.16 in February. March marked the fourth consecutive positive reading of the index and the sixth consecutive positive contribution from employment-related indicators. Neither has exhibited such patterns since April 2006.
The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged down to +0.20 in March from +0.27 in February, but remained positive for the third consecutive month for the first time since May 2010. March’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat above it historical trend. With regard to inflation, the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
Production-related indicators made a contribution of +0.39 to the index in March, up from +0.11 in February. Total industrial production rose 0.8 percent in March after increasing 0.1 percent in February. In addition, manufacturing capacity utilization increased to 75.3 percent in March from 74.9 percent in February. Also in March, the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Production Index reached its highest level since January 2004.
Posted: April 28, 2011 Thursday 08:30 AM