Friday, September 10, 2010

An Interesting Perspective On The Chicago Fed National Activity Index

I have mentioned The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) in a variety of posts, first in a March 30 post and then in the monthly Updates on Economic Indicators.

I view the CFNAI (which is usually expressed via a 3-month moving average denoted CFNAI-3) as being among the most valuable of commonly referenced official (i.e. government produced) indicators.

On September 7, Doug Short posted this annotated chart of the CFNAI-3 from Bob Bronson, along with associated commentary:

(click on chart to enlarge)

I find this interpretation of CFNAI-3 to be very interesting.   I think the main value in it is from a long-term perspective.  Although the regression (red arrow) shows only a gradual decline, the more ominous trend appears to be from (roughly) the post-2000 period.

It should be interesting to see how the CFNAI-3 performs on a going-forward basis...

SPX at 1107.57 as this post is written

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