The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a weighted average of 85 monthly indicators of national
economic activity. The CFNAI provides a single summary measure of a common factor in these national
economic data. As such, historical movements in this Chicago Fed index closely track periods of economic
expansion and contraction. The ChicagoFed’s goal in releasing this index monthly is to provide an objective, real-time” statistical measure of coincident economic activity derived from a wide range of monthly indicators. Research studies by economists at Harvard University, Princeton University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago have shown that the CFNAI often provides early indications of business cycle turning points.