Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National
Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +0.22 in November from a neutral reading in
October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index
increased from October, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in November. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved down to +0.12 in November from +0.23 in October.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, decreased to +0.06 in November from +0.21 in October. Forty-eight of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in November, while 37 made negative contributions. Forty-five indicators improved from October to November, while 37 indicators deteriorated and three were unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 11 made negative contributions.
The contribution from production-related indicators to the CFNAI increased to +0.08 in November from –0.09 in October. Industrial production rose 0.6 percent in November after decreasing 0.2 percent in October. The contribution from the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI moved up to +0.09 in November
from –0.02 in October. The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing New Orders Index increased to 62.1 in November from 57.4 in October.
Employment-related indicators contributed +0.10 to the CFNAI in November, down from +0.15 in October. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 in November after rising by 237,000 in the previous month. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI ticked down to –0.05 in November from –0.04 in October. On balance, consumption and housing indicators weakened slightly from October.
The CFNAI was constructed using data available as of December 20, 2018. At that time, November data for 51 of the 85 indicators had been published. For all missing data, estimates were used in constructing the index. The October monthly index value was revised to 0.00 from an initial estimate of +0.24, and the September monthly index value was revised to +0.15 from last month’s estimate of +0.14.
Revisions to the monthly index can be attributed to two main factors: revisions in previously published data and differences between the estimates of previously unavailable data and subsequently published data. The revision to the October monthly index value was primarily due to the former, while the revision to the September monthly index value was primarily due to the latter.
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