Business activity doesn't look too strong in July

National Activity Index Declines in Chicago Area in July

Posted Monday, August 24, 2020 by
Skerdian Meta • 1 min read

The economic activity declined immensely in the US during the lock-downs and economic indicators also tumbled lower. But, with the reopening, everyone was hoping for a strong bounce all over the spectrum and we did see a bounce initially. Although, the activity is cooling off again, with the protests, especially in certain areas like Chicago, where there has been a lot of destruction, which has hurt businesses. Today’s report showed a cool-off, although the activity remains in expansion.

The Monthly National Index From the Chicago FED

  • July national activity index 1.18 vs 3.70 expected
  • June national activity index was 4.11 (revised to 5.33)
  • Personal consumption and housing 0.02
  • Employment 0.38
  • Production and income 1.09
  • Sales, orders and inventories -0.31
The June reading was a long-term high but the index is beginning to normalize. A reading of zero represents trend growth so even 1.18 is above trend; of course, that’s coming off a record -17.91 decline in April. Still, at this point you would like to see an elevated reading in the hopes that all the unemployed will be pulled back into the economy but it looks like that’s going to be a longer process as the pandemic continues.
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