The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economy remained near contraction in May, with the index improving to -0.30 from a level of -0.52 in April. The three-month moving average declined to a level of -0.43. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of production and income; employment, unemployment and income; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders and inventories.
The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate, while a negative value indicates below average growth. A value at or below -0.70 for the three-month moving average of the national activity index (CFNAI-MA3) indicates that the national economy has either just entered or continues in recession.