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National Activity Index For September Increases
CHICAGO, Ill. (11/13/13)--A prominent measure of economic production increased slightly in September.
 
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its September National Activity Index data on Tuesday, showing a modest rise in the indicator to 0.14, up from 0.13 in August.
 
Production-related components of the index rose to 0.19 in September, up from 0.17 in August, while a subset measure of sales, orders and inventories was up to 0.05 from 0.04. Rounding out the composite index, a gauge of consumption and housing fell to -0.18 from -0.17, while a measure of employment held steady at 0.08 (4-traders.com Nov. 12).
 
The three-month moving average of the index also increased in September to -0.03 from -0.15, although the index remaining less-than-zero indicates that growth is historically sluggish. This was the seventh straight month that the moving average gave a negative reading, indicating that inflation should be modest over the next year (Moody's Economy.com Nov. 12).
 
The modest September gains, however, don't account for October's partial government shutdown. October's index will be released by the Chicago Fed on Nov. 27, two days behind schedule. September's findings were originally scheduled to be released on Oct. 21.
 
Some measures show that the shutdown had only a temporary effect on key components of the economy, although another round of congressional budget negotiations in early 2014 could hamper the aggregate demand, and labor and financial markets (Economy.com, Nov. 12).


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