Daily Archives: Apr 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm EDT

Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: Mar 2014 Preview

The three-month average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is expected to decline slightly to -0.26 in the March update that’s scheduled for release on Monday (April 21), according to The Capital Spectator’s median econometric forecast. In the previous release for February, the three-month average was -0.18, a reading that equates with relatively weak economic growth. Only values below -0.70 indicate an “increasing likelihood” that a recession has started, according to guidelines from the Chicago Fed. Based on today’s estimate for March, CFNAI’s three-month average is projected to remain at a level that’s historically associated with growth, but at a moderately below-trend pace.
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US Economic Profile | 4.18.14

So much for pessimism. Most of the key economic reports for March are in and the general message looks encouraging… again. You can never say anything definitive about the business cycle in real time, but the data in hand today strongly suggest that the recent turbulence in some economic reports was only a temporary blip in an ongoing run of moderate growth.
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