Economic Growth Continued to Be Soft in December
In December, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) remained below zero for a fifth consecutive month. The monthly index came in at –0.49 in December, a small improvement from –0.55 in November. Weak employment- and production-related data made substantial negative contributions to the December index. Persistent weakness in the monthly index left the December three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, essentially unchanged at –0.61. Since the most recent business cycle peak in March 2001, the only positive value of the CFNAI-MA3 has been +0.03, which occurred in July 2002.