The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank publishes a wonderful “state of the economic union” monthly. Their summary, published today, shows that the U.S. economy is purring along nicely. The three-month moving average of their indicators was above the historical trend. What this holds for the future is un-clear (seeing into the future is always impossible), but it does show that there is reason for optimism as we head into the New Year. Here is part of the press release from the Chicago Fed.
“Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.73 in November from +0.31 in October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from October, and only one of the four categories made a negative contribution to the index in November.
The index’s three-month moving average rose to +0.48 in November from +0.09 in October, reaching its highest level since May 2010. November’s three-month moving average suggests that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the three-month moving average suggests modest inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:
1) Production and income;
2) Employment, unemployment, and hours;
3) Personal consumption and housing; and
4) Sales,orders, and inventories.”
To read about the CFNAI, go to www.chicagofed.org.