Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Bad News

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index was just released and it showed a −0.91 reading in December, down from −0.29 in November. All four broad categories of indicators made negative contributions to the index in December.

This is not a well known economic report, so here is more on it:

"the CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend."

"The 85 economic indicators that are included in the CFNAI are drawn from four broad categories of data: production and income; employment, unemployment, and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. The derived index provides a single, summary measure of a factor common to these national economic data."

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