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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: December 2012

The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated a weakening for the national economy with the index falling to a very low growth level of 0.02 from a notably weak level of -.27 in November while the three month moving average improved slightly to a weak level of -0.11.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”.

The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicates below average growth.

A value at or below -0.70 for the three month moving average of the national activity index (CFNAI-MA3) indicates that the national economy has either just entered or continues in recession.

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