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Chicago Fed: US economy improving

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(Read caption) This chart shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) since 2000. The composite index of 85 economic indicators showed that the national economy improved in April.

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Today’s release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) showed improvement for the national economy with the index increasing from last month to stand at 0.11 while the three month moving average also declined to -0.06.

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”.

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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.