Chicago Fed Confirms Economic Softness In August, As Sales And Hiring Drag Down Index

Some weak (ish) data from the Chicago Fed (.pdf) indicates more economic softness in August:

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, declined to –0.42 in August from –0.27 in July. August’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the amount of economic slack reflected in the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.


Production-related indicators made a neutral contribution to the index in August, down from +0.23 in July. Manufacturing produc- tion edged up 0.2 per cent in August after rising 0.7 per cent in the previous month.

The sales, orders, and inventories category made a very small negative contribution to the index in August, contributing –0.01, compared with +0.01 in July.

Employment-related indicators made a contribution of –0.12 to the index in August, down from +0.09 in July. Total nonfarm payroll em- ployment decreased by 54,000 in August. In addition, manufactur- ing payrolls declined for the first time in eight months, decreasing by 27,000 in August after moving up 37,000 in the previous month.

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