April CFNAI Points to Slow Recovery
In April, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was was in negative territory for the 22nd consecutive month. The index was –0.22 in April, compared with a downward revised value of –0.31 in March. The positive values reported last month for February and March were erased by data revisions and the availability of new source data. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, deteriorated slightly in April, falling to –0.24 from March’s downward revised value of –0.19. These negative CFNAI-MA3 values indicate that the national economy is currently growing below trend, and that the economic expansion continued to be slower than typical recoveries from recession. In addition, index values below zero signal reduced inflationary pressures over the coming year.