The October Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was –1.70, up only slightly from
a sharply downward revised value of –1.78 in September. The large negative readings in
September and October pushed the three-month moving average index (CFNAI-MA3) down
from September’s –1.06 to –1.56 in October. By dropping below –1.50, the CFNAI-MA3 fell
into a negative range that historically has been observed only during economic recessions.
October marked the sixteenth 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 signal reduced inflationary pressures over the coming year.
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