The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was –0.39 in May, a marked improvement
from the downward-revised April level of –1.04. Most of the increase reflected better readings
on the output-related components of the index; less negative employment-related data were
also a factor. The three-month moving average index, CFNAI-MA3, moved up from –0.89 in
April to –0.69 in May. Because the three-month period covered by this latest CFNAI-MA3
includes March and April, the index is still heavily influenced by uncertainties associated
with the Iraq conflict.