2018 Economic Calendar
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Chicago Fed National Activity Index  
Released On 4/23/2018 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Level0.88 0.98 0.29 0.20  to 0.50 0.10 
3 Month Moving Average0.37 0.31 0.27 

Highlights
A drag from employment made for abrupt slowing in the national activity index which came in at plus 0.10 percent for March vs February's upward revised and very strong 0.98. Employment, one of four components in this report, pulled the headline index down 0.70 points in March reflecting a steep slowing in nonfarm payrolls to 103,000 vs February's 326,000. The production component also slowed March's results but still contributed 0.14 points to the headline index. Sales, orders, inventories contributed slightly less to March while personal consumption & housing, which has been weak, improved slightly and held down the March index only fractionally.

Winter months can often be bumpy given the outsized effects of seasonal adjustments during this period. But looking at the 3-month average shows steady growth for this index, at 0.27 and only slightly lower than February's 0.31. Watch Friday for the first estimate on first-quarter GDP where the consensus is looking for modest-to-moderate strength.

Consensus Outlook
Retail sales were solid in March as were building permits as well as mining and utility production which will all be positives for the national activity index. Not much of a positive, however, was a marginal rise in manufacturing production nor the slim 103,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls which will both hold back the month's results. The index is expected to come in at 0.29 vs February's very strong 0.88.

Definition
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index that tracks overall economic activity and inflationary pressures. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.  Why Investors Care
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/222/263/264/235/216/257/238/279/2410/2211/2612/24
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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