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Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

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Definition of 'Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)'

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. The CFNAI is released at 8:30 a.m. ET on scheduled days, normally toward the end of each calendar month.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

The 85 economic indicators that are included in the CFNAI are drawn from four broad categories of data:
  1. production and income
  2. employment, unemployment, and hours
  3. personal consumption and housing
  4. sales, orders, and inventories
Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. The derived index provides a single, summary measure of a factor common to these national economic data.

The CFNAI corresponds to the index of economic activity developed by James Stock of Harvard University and Mark Watson of Princeton University in an article, "Forecasting Inflation," published in the Journal of Monetary Economics in 1999. The idea behind their approach is that there is some factor common to all of the various inflation indicators, and it is this common factor, or index, that is useful for predicting inflation. Research has found that the CFNAI provides a useful gauge on current and future economic activity and inflation in the United States.

Production and Income
  1. Industrial Production: Manufacturing SA, 2002=100
  2. Industrial Production Index SA, 2002=100
  3. Industrial Production: Durable Manufacturing SA, 2002=100
  4. Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing SA, Percent of Capacity
  5. Industrial Production: Materials: Durable SA, 2002=100
  6. Industrial Production: Final Products and Nonindustrial Supplies SA, 2002=100
  7. Industrial Production: Nonindustrial Supplies SA, 2002=100
  8. Industrial Production: Materials SA, 2002=100
  9. ISM Manufacturing: Production index SA, 50+ = Econ Expand
  10. ISM Manufacturing: PMI Composite Index SA, 50+=Econ Expand
  11. Industrial Production: Final Products SA, 2002=100
  12. Industrial Production: Business Equipment SA, 2002=100
  13. Industrial Production: Nondurable Manufacturing SA, 2002=100
  14. Industial Production: Consumer Goods SA, 2002=100
  15. Industrial Production: Durable Consumer Goods SA, 2002=100
  16. Industrial Production: Materials: Nondurable SA, 2002=100
  17. Real Personal Income Less Transfer Payments SAAR, Bil. Chn. 2005$
  18. Industrial Production: Nondurable Consumer Goods SA, 2002=100
  19. Private nonresidential construction, SAAR Mil$, Chained/2005$
  20. Industrial Production: Mining SA, 2002=100
  21. Real Disposable Personal Income SAAR, Bil. Chn. 2005$
  22. Public construction, SAAR Mil$, Chained/2005 (constructed)
  23. Industrial Production: Electric and Gas Uitilies SA, 2002=100

Employment and Hours
  1. All Employees: Goods-Producing Industries SA, Thousands
  2. All Employees: Private Nonfarm Payrolls SA, Thousands
  3. Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls SA, Thousands
  4. All Employees: Manufacturing SA, Thousands
  5. All Employees: Durable Goods Manufacturing SA, Thousands
  6. National Association of Purchasing Managers: Employment Index
  7. All Employees: Retail and Wholesale Trade SA, Thousands
  8. All Employees: Service-Producing Industries SA, Thousands
  9. All Employees: Nondurable Goods Manufacturing SA, Thousands
  10. All Employees: Services SA, Thousands (constructed)
  11. Ratio: Help-Wanted Advertising in Newspapers/Number Unemployed SA,
  12. All Employees: Construction SA, Thousands
  13. Civilian Unemployment Rate SA, Percent
  14. Civilian Employment: Nonagricultural Industries SA, Thousands
  15. Civilian Employment: Sixteen Years & Over SA, Thousands
  16. Civilian Unemployment Rate: Men, 25-54 Years SA, Percent
  17. All Employees: Finance, Insurance and Real Estate SA, Thousands
  18. Index of Help-Wanted Advertising in Newspapers SA, 1987=100
  19. Weekly Initial Claims For Unemployment Insurance SA, Thousands
  20. All Employees: Transportation and Public Utilities SA, Thousands (constructed)
  21. Average Weekly Hours: Manufacturing SA, Hours
  22. Average Weekly Overtime Hours: Manufacturing SA, Hours
  23. All Employees: Mining SA, Thousands
  24. All Employees: Government SA, Thousands

Consumption and Housing
  1. Housing Starts SAAR, Thousands of Units
  2. Housing Units Authorized by Building Permits SAAR, Thousands of Units
  3. Housing Starts: West SAAR, Thousands of Units
  4. Housing Starts: Midwest SAAR, Thousands of Units
  5. Housing Starts: South SAAR, Thousands of Units
  6. Housing Starts: Northeast SAAR, Thousands of Units
  7. Manufacturers' Shipment of Mobile Homes SAAR, Thousands of Units
  8. Personal Consumption Expenditures SAAR, Bil./Chained/2005$
  9. Real Retail Sales SA, Millions/Chained/2005$
  10. Real Retail Sales: Durable Goods SA, Mil./Chained/2005$
  11. Personal Consumption Expenditures: Durable Goods SAAR, Bil./Chained/2005$
  12. Personal Consumption Expenditures: Nondurable Goods SAAR, Bil./Chained/2005$
  13. Real Retail Sales: Nondurable Goods SA, Mil./Chained/2005$
  14. Personal Consumption Expenditures: Services SAAR, Bil./Chained/2005$
  15. Personal Consumption Expenditures: Motor vehicles SAAR, Bil./Chained/2005$

Sales, orders and Inventories
  1. National Association of Purchasing Managers: Manufacturing: Di usion
  2. Real Manufacturing and Trade: Sales SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  3. Sales: Manufacturing SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  4. Sales: Manufacturing: Durable Goods SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  5. Sales: Wholesale: Durable Goods SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  6. New Orders: Consumer Goods & Materials SA, Mil./Chained 2005
  7. Inventory/Sales Ratio: Manufacturing SA, Chained/2005
  8. Real Manufacturing & Trade: Inventory/Sales Ration SA, Chained/2005
  9. Sales: Merchant Wholesalers SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  10. National Association of Purchasing Managers: Inventories Index
  11. National Association of Purchasing Managers: Suppliers Deliveries Index
  12. Sales: Manufacturing: Nondurable Goods SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  13. Real Manufacturers' New Orders: Durable Goods Industries, Bil./Chained/2005
  14. Inventories: Retail Trade EOP, SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  15. Real Manufacturing & Trade Inventories EOP, SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  16. Inventory/Sales Ratio: Merchant Wholesalers SA, Chained/2005
  17. Sales: Wholesale: Nondurable Goods SA, Chained/2005
  18. Inventories: Merchant Wholesalers EOP, SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  19. Inventories: Manufacturing EOP, SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  20. Real Manufacturers' New Orders: Nondefense Capital Goods Industries
  21. Inventories: Manufacturing: Nondurable Goods EOP, SA, Mil./Chained 2005
  22. Inventories: Manufacturing: Durable Goods EOP, SA, Mil./Chained/2005
  23. Inventory/Sales Ratio: Retail Trade SA, Chained/2005

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