The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's National Activity Index, released Monday, fell to -0.39 in January from -0.03 in the prior month. The three-month moving average, designed to smooth out month-to-month volatility, also declined, falling to +0.10 last month from December's +0.26. The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of economic activity nationwide. A reading above zero indicates growth above the nation's history trend.
Forty-four of the 85 individual indicators made a negative contribution to the monthly indicator, while 41 pushed it higher. The declines were focused in two areas. Production category fell to -0.36 in January, down from +0.06 in December. The consumption-and-housing category fell to -0.18 from -0.14 in the prior month. The employment and sales sectors saw their slight gains overwhelmed.