Posted February 26, 2023

Index suggests economic growth picked up in January

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.23 in January from –0.46 in December. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in January, and three categories improved from December.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to –0.26 in January from –0.34 in December. The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, edged up to –0.10 in January from –0.15 in December.

Fifty-one of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in January, while 34 made negative contributions. Fifty-one indicators improved from December to January, while 33 indicators deteriorated and one was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 10 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed +0.04 to the CFNAI in January, up from –0.56 in December. Industrial production was unchanged in January after falling 1.0 percent in December. The contribution of the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI decreased to –0.06 in January from +0.07 in the previous month.

Employment-related indicators contributed +0.12 to the CFNAI in January, up slightly from +0.09 in December. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.4 percent in January from 3.5 percent in December. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI increased to +0.13 in January from –0.06 in December.

View the CFNAI tables.