March CFNAI Again Indicates Above-Trend Economic Growth
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased somewhat from February to March, but remained above zero for the seventh month in a row. The monthly CFNAI was +0.17 in March, following an upward-revised +0.47 reading in February. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that comprise the index made positive contributions in March, with the exception being the production-related measures. The three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, came in at +0.35 in March, virtually unchanged from the previous month. CFNAI-MA3 values above zero are associated with above-trend economic growth; accordingly, the CFNAI-MA3 value of +0.35 suggests that growth in economic activity was above its historical trend in March. In addition, CFNAI-MA3 values above zero suggest increased inflationary pressures over the coming year.