Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. The CFNAI is released at 8:30 a.m. ET on scheduled days, normally toward the end of each calendar month.


Chicago Fed National Activity Index Suggests Economic Growth Increased in April

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was +0.47 in April, up from +0.36 in March.

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Current CFNAI Release May 23, 2022 PDF
CFNAI Indexes Data file XLSX
Indicators List Indicators used to construct the CFNAI PDF
Technical Report Report describing changes to the CFNAI as of November 2003 PDF
Background Slides A brief introduction to the CFNAI PDF
Background Information Detailed background on the CFNAI PDF
 

Note: A zero value for the CFNAI has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.


 

Notes: Shading represents periods of sustained increasing inflation; the vertical line indicates the start of the most recent period. For details on the timing of these periods based on readings of core inflation (which excludes food and energy prices), see pp. 4–5 of the background information document. An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.


 

Notes: Shading indicates official periods of recession as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Following a period of economic expansion, an increasing likelihood of a recession has historically been associated with a CFNAI-MA3 value below –0.70. Conversely, following a period of economic contraction, an increasing likelihood of an expansion has historically been associated with a CFNAI-MA3 value above –0.70 and a significant likelihood of an expansion has historically been associated with a CFNAI-MA3 value above +0.20.


 

Notes: Shading indicates official periods of recession as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The CFNAI Diffusion Index represents the three-month moving average of the sum of the absolute values of the weights for the underlying indicators whose contribution to the CFNAI is positive in a given month less the sum of the absolute values of the weights for those indicators whose contribution is negative or neutral in a given month. Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI Diffusion Index above –0.35.


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