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Chicago Fed National Activity Index Drops To -0.45, Lowest Since Aug. 2010

Another diffusion contraction confirms the stagflation thesis is playing out just as expected. "Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to –0.45 in April from +0.32 in March. April marked the lowest reading of the index since August 2010. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index deteriorated from March, but two of those three categories made positive contributions to the index in April." And more truthiness courtesy of a tumbling Japanese economy and European contraction: "The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, declined to –0.12 in April from +0.08 in March, turning negative for the first time since December 2010. April’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat below its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year." And the admission: "Parts shortages that resulted from the earthquakes in Japan contributed to a decline in motor vehicle and parts production." But no, GM and Ford are both not seeing any impact from Japan...

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