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US economic activity slips in April, Chicago Fed's index shows

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's monthly gauge of U.S. economic activity contracted in April as three of the four broad economic categories making up the index weakened from March and two categories made negative contributions.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, a weighted average of 85 individual economic indicators, declined to negative 0.45 in April from an upwardly revised positive 0.05 in March. A negative index reading indicates below-average growth.

The latest monthly reading compares with the Econoday consensus estimate of negative 0.10.

Contraction in the index was primarily led by declines in production-related indicators, which contributed negative 0.44 to the index in April, down from negative 0.04 in the previous month. The contribution of the sales, orders and inventories category eased to positive 0.01 compared with positive 0.06 in March.

Employment-related indicators contributed positive 0.04, up from positive 0.03 in the prior month. Personal consumption and housing indicators contributed negative 0.05 to the index, down from a neutral value in March.

Overall, 48 individual economic indicators declined month over month in April, while 37 indicators improved.