29 January 2004, 18:03  Chicago Fed national activity index slows in Dec

NEW YORK, Jan 29 - The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday its National Activity Index fell in December as employment and manufacturing slowed, although the index still points to above-trend growth. The index fell to +0.13 in December from an upwardly revised +0.68 in November. "Most of the December decrease can be attributed to a smaller contribution from output-related measures that month relative to November," including industrial production and manufacturing, the Chicago Fed said. "Only the employment-related category made a negative contribution," because of the sharp slowdown in December payrolls to an increase of just 1,000 jobs.
The three-month moving average of the index also decreased, to +0.35 in December from a revised +0.46 reading in November. Any reading above zero indicates economic growth is above trend.//

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