The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: February 2010


Yesterday’s release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that national economic activity slumped significantly in February with all but the "sales, orders and inventories" components showing significant weakness.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”.

The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicate below average growth.

A value at or below -0.70 for the three month moving average of the national activity index (CFNAI-MA3) indicates that the national economy has either just entered or continues in recession.

It’s important to note that at -0.39 the current three month average index value is indicating very weak growth after several recent months of intermittent recessionary and near recessionary growth.

The "personal consumption and housing" component is continuing to show very weak results and at -.45, is at a level only marginally better than the worst levels seen this cycle.

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.