CFNAI Increases in May, but Still Negative
In May, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to −0.07 from a downward revised value of −0.28 in April. The index has been negative in 22 of the 23 months since June 2000; the exception was a zero value in January 2002. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, also improved in May, rising to −0.21 from April’s downward revised value of −0.29. These negative CFNAI-MA3 values indicate that the national economy is currently growing below trend, and that the economic expansion continues to be slower than has typically been the case following a recession. In addition, index values below zero signal reduced inflationary pressures over the coming year.