Is this as good as it gets? For the time being at least, it seems to be.
The Chicago Fed national Activity Index fell from -0.04 in January to -0.64 in February, leaving it well above the recession trough, but still below the normal or trend value of zero.
A negative value for this index is not that uncommon during an expansion, but not what we’d like to be seeing at this point, either.
The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index is also up significantly from its recent trough, but has been trending back down into negative territory with the last few weeks’ data on new claims for unemployment insurance.
Again, a negative reading is not that unusual, but not what we want to be seeing.
Consumer sentiment has rebounded from its low point of the recession, but is still floundering at very low levels.