CFNAI Moves Further Above Historical Trend In July

The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI) was a reading of +0.39 in July, up from June’s revised reading of +0.21. The positive figure indicates that the index is above its historical trend. The index’s 3-month moving average is at +0.25.

53 of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in July, while 32 made negative contributions.

48 indicators improved from June to July, while 36 indicators deteriorated and 1 was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 9 made negative contributions.


The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic 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.