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Chicago Fed: National economy near contraction

The national economy remained near contraction in July with the index improving to weak level of -0.15 from a level of -0.23 in June, according toe the latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index.

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This chart shows the rate Chicago Fed National Activity Index since 2000. The huge dip in 2008 and 2009 indicates the Great Recession.

The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economy remained near contraction in July with the index improving to weak level of -0.15 from a level of -0.23 in June while the three month moving average improved to a level of -0.15. 

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 economy is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicates 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. 

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