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Chicago Fed National Activity Index Rises, Reversing 3-Month Trend

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said its national activity index turned higher in December after three months in negative territory, boosted by production-related indicators.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index came in at +0.04 in December against a downwardly revised -0.30 in November, previously reported at -0.26.

The three-month average of the CFNAI, which provides a more consistent picture of national economic growth due to the volatility in month readings - was -0.19 in December compared with -0.36 in November. The November figures was revised from a previously reported -0.32.

A reading below zero for the three-month average indicates below-trend growth, and the index has been below zero for the past four months. The Chicago Fed said the reading below zero
indicates little inflationary pressure over the coming year.

Production-related indicators shifted to positive from negative on the back of higher industrial production and capacity utilization.

Employment-related indicators were somewhat less negative than in November as nonfarm payrolls increased robustly for a second month. Consumption and housing indicators turned
slightly negative from neutral.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. Overall 37 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions and 48 made negative
contributions.

Overall, some 53 indicators improved from November to December while 31 indicators deteriorated.

Indicators Index Delayed

Separately, the Conference Board said it delayed the release of its January index of leading economic indicators until Tuesday at 10 am New York time.

The report was scheduled to be released Monday.