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Chicago Fed National Activity Index, March 2004
CFNAI Indicates Strong Economic Growth in February
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index was +0.39 in February, little changed from a downward-revised reading of +0.40 in January. February was the sixth straight month in which the CFNAI was positive. As in January, production-related data accounted for the bulk of February’s strength. In contrast, the contribution from employment-related measures turned from a small positive to a small negative. The three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, fell to +0.29 in February from +0.43 in the previous month. CFNAI-MA3 readings above zero are associated with above-trend economic growth; accordingly, the CFNAI-MA3 value of +0.29 suggests that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend in February. With regard to inflation, CFNAI-MA3 values above zero suggest increased inflationary pressures over the coming year.

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