Chicago Fed national activity index tumbles in May

FILE PHOTO: Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Evans takes a question during a round table with the media in Shanghai

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Chicago Federal Reserve said on Monday its barometer on U.S. economic activity retreated in May from its highest level since early 2014 due to a sharp deceleration in production, employment and housing activities.

The regional central bank’s national activity index dropped to -0.26 last month from an upwardly revised +0.57 in April, which was the strongest since +0.59 in March 2014.

The April reading was originally reported at +0.49.

A negative reading shows national economy is running below its historical average, while a positive reading suggests the economy is expanding faster than its historical average.

(Reporting by Richard Leong)