Economic activity slowed in February

Chicago Fed index shows production-led decline

Economy

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 am

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, which measures economic growth, slowed in February.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index declined to -0.29 in February, down from +0.41 in January. In February 2015, the NAI was -0.40.

The month-over-month decrease was driven by lower production-related indicators, which were a -0.21 contribution to the index in February, down from +0.29 in January. Industrial production was down 0.5 percent in February, compared with an increase of 0.8 percent in January.

Additionally, sales, orders and inventories contributed -0.03 to the index in February, down from -0.02 in January. Employment-related indicators, contributed +0.03 in February, down from +0.19 in January.

The index is a weighted average of 85 national economic activity indicators in the areas of production and income; employment, unemployment and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders and inventories. A NAI reading of zero signals the economy is growing in line with historical trends. A negative NAI means growth is less than average, while a positive NAI indicates growth is greater than average.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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