Steve Goldstein WASHINGTON (WSJ-MarketWatch)
The U.S. economy ran below trend potential in March, according to the Chicago Fed national activity index released Monday. In March, the index swung to -0.23 from an upwardly revised +0.76 in February, and the three-month moving average fell to -0.01 from +0.12.
The index weights 85 different economic indicators and is designed so that readings above zero indicate the economy is growing above average historical trends, and readings below zero indicate the economy is running below-average trend growth. When the three-month moving average moves below -0.70, there's an increasing likelihood a recession has begun.