From Babcox Media Audience Insights Manager Bruce Kratofil:
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. It is typically released about four weeks after the end of a month – meaning the February report released on Monday, March 23.
“The data through February were unlikely to have been affected much by the COVID-19 outbreak. Economic data for March will be incorporated in the next CFNAI released on April 20, 2020,” the CFNAI reports.
“Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.16 in February from –0.33 in January. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from January, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in February” the report stated.
If the CFNAI is positive, it means that on balance the economy is growing. Production-related indicators, employment- related indicators, and personal consumption indicators were all positive, indicating that the economy was still growing in February, before the effects of the virus were felt.