US Economic Output Accelerates in July

US economic output accelerated in July, returning to its historical trend rate.


By James Picerno

This is according to this morning’s update of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index’s three-month average (CFNAI-MA3). The benchmark’s rise to 0.0 marks the strongest pace of growth in six months, based on CFNAI-MA3.

Today’s numbers offer additional evidence that the US economy has strengthened recently. Accordingly, recession risk is low via data through last month. The current CFNAI-MA3 reading of 0.0 for July is well above the -0.70 mark that signals the start of new recessions, according to Chicago Fed guidelines.


Analyzing the updated CFNAI-MA3 data with a probit model continues to show that the probability is low (below 4%) that a recession started in July. The current risk estimate in the chart below is based on a probit regression that reviews the historical record of NBER’s business cycle dates in context with CFNAI-MA3. The low risk estimate is in line with last week’s update on business cycle risk via The Capital Spectator’s proprietary indexes.


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