Understanding the CFNAI Components
The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on this 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 declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to –0.15 in May from +0.42 in April. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up th index decreased from April, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in May. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to +0.18 in May from +0.48 in April".
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: