The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) ticked down to –0.29 in February from –0.25 in January. The consensus forecast was +0.10, with forecasts ranging from a low of -0.2 to a high of +0.3.
Two of the four broad categories of indicators decreased from January, and three of the four categories made negative contributions in February.
The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged down to –0.18 in February from a neutral reading in January. Despite the monthly swings, the 3-month average had been steady and favorable, albeit moderate at +0.16 for both January and December.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, also a three-month moving average, fell to –0.05 in February from +0.12 in January.
Thirty-eight of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in February, while 47 made negative contributions.
Thirty-seven indicators improved from January to February, while 48 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 16 made negative contributions.
The contribution from production-related indicators to the CFNAI edged up to –0.16 from –0.29. The manufacturing component in industrial production fell 0.4% in February after declining 0.5% in January. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.03 to the CFNAI in February, up slightly from +0.01 in January.
Employment-related indicators contributed –0.10 to the CFNAI in February, down from +0.07 in January. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 20,000 in February after adding a whopping 311,000 the previous month.
The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI edged down to –0.06 in February from –0.03 in January.