This morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released June 2012 figures for the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI), a measure of how the national economy is faring relative to its historical trend rate. In June, two of the four economic indicator categories improved, causing the overall CFNAI to increase to -0.15, from -0.48 in May.
Illustrated in the following chart, the three-month moving average increased to -0.20 in June, from -0.38 in May. (When the CFNAI-MA3 moves above -0.70 following a period of economic contraction, there is an increasing likelihood that a recession has ended; surpassing a level of +0.20 indicates economic activity associated with sustained recovery).
Note: Based on data available as of 7/19/12. At that time, June data for 51 of the 85 indicators had been published; for all missing data, estimates were used in constructing the index and CFNAI-MA3. Shading indicates NBER-declared end of recession (June 2009).
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Of the 85 indicators that contribute to the index (production/income, sales/orders/inventories, employment/unemployment/hours, and personal consumption/housing):
- 42 improved from May to June, while 43 deteriorated; 40 made positive contributions, while 45 made negative contributions.
- Production-related indicators made a positive contribution of +0.13 to the index, up from -0.27 in May.
- Employment-related indicators made a neutral contribution to the index, down from +0.05 in May.
- Personal consumption/housing made a negative contribution of -0.23 to the index, up from -0.26 in May.
- Sales/orders/inventories indicators made a negative contribution of -0.06 to the index, down slightly from a neutral contribution in May.
Please note: The May monthly index was revised to -0.48 from an initial estimate of -0.45 due to revisions in previously published data. The full news release can be found on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago website.