Understanding the CFNAI Components
The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on yesterday morning, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:
- Production and Income
- Employment, Unemployment, and Hours
- Personal Consumption and Housing
- Sales, Orders, and Inventories
The complete list is available here in PDF format.
In this morning's Chicago Fed update, we learned that "Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved up to +0.27 in December from +0.11 in November. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from November, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in December. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, ticked down to +0.42 in December from +0.43 in November."
A chart overlay of the complete multi-decade span of all four categories, even if we use the three-month moving averages, is quite challenging for visual clarity:
So here is a close-up view since 2000: