CFNAI Shows U.S. Economy Improved in January
In January, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved above zero for the first time since last July. The monthly index came in at +0.38, a substantial improvement from a revised –0.62 in December, and the highest monthly reading since April 2000. Relatively strong production-related data made the largest positive contribution to the January index; a turnaround in the employment-related data also contributed significantly to the improvement from December. Due to weakness in prior months, the three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, remained negative in January. However, at –0.19 the CFNAI-MA3 was up substantially from the revised December reading of –0.59.