Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Picked Up in January

This article was originally written by Doug Short. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at Advisor Perspectives/VettaFi.

"Index suggests economic growth picked up in January" This is the headline for this morning's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is the opening paragraph from the report:

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. [more]

Background on the CFNAI

The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly indicator designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. It is a composite of 85 monthly indicators as explained in this background PDF file on the Chicago Fed's website. The index is constructed so a zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth. Negative values indicate below-average growth, and positive values indicate above-average growth.