CFNAI Turns Positive for the First Time Since June
In February, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved out of negative territory for the first time since June 2000. The monthly index rose to +0.04 from an upward revised value of –0.33 in January. This increase represents the third consecutive improvement in the monthly index. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, also improved in February, rising to –0.28 from January’s upward revised value of –0.71. The February CFNAI-MA3 was at its highest level since July 2000. However, February still marked the twentieth consecutive month that the CFNAI-MA3 was below zero, an indication of how long the national economy has been growing below trend. Index values below zero also signal reduced inflationary pressures over the coming year.