U.S. Economy Picked Up In July, National Activity Index Suggests

By Steve GoldsteinMarketWatch Pulse

The national activity index from the Chicago Fed swung back into positive territory in July, suggesting above-trend growth last month. The index rose to 0.34 in July from negative 0.07 in June, while the three-month average was neutral after a negative 0.08 reading in June, the Chicago Fed said Monday. The index is a weighted average of 85 different economic indicators, designed so that zero represents trend growth and a three-month average below negative 0.70 suggests a recession has begun.

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