Economic activity was up slightly in the month of October although still below trend according to the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index.  The 3 month moving average continued lower, however:

“Led by improvements in production- and employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to –0.28 in October from –0.52 in September. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made small positive contributions in October, while the consumption and housing category continued to make a large negative contribution.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to –0.46 in October from –0.33 in September, reaching its lowest level since November 2009. October’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend for the fifth consecutive month. 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 contribution of +0.08 to the index in October, up from –0.12 in September. Manufacturing industrial production increased 0.5 percent in October, up from a 0.1 percent gain in the previous month; and manufacturing capacity utilization increased to 72.7 percent in October from 72.3 percent in September.”

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