Growing activity levels in production-related indicators and an improved housing outlook helped buoy economic activity during the month of June, according to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's latest National Activity Index.

The CFNAI index increased to a score of negative 0.15 in June, which is improved from negative 0.48 in May. A score of zero or above shows the economy is expanding at its historical rate of growth, while negative values show below average growth in the national economy.

Of the 85 economic indicators studied, 40 made positive contributions to the June CFNAI report while 45 had a negative impact. Forty-two economic indicators improved from May to June while 43 indicators deteriorated.

The consumption and housing part of the study contributed to overall economic growth with that index edging up from negative 26 in May to negative 23 in June.

The Chicago Fed noted that housing starts rose to 760,000 annualized units in June, up from 711,000 in May. Meanwhile, housing permits fell from 784,000 to 755,000 annualized units.

Employment numbers did little to impact the national economic survey. Total employment grew by 80,000 jobs in June after a gain of 77,000 jobs in May.

The index's three-month moving average also grew from negative 38 in May to negative 20 in June. While that's improved, its still the fourth consecutive reading below zero.

"June’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend," the Chicago Fed said. "The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year."

kpanchuk@housingwire.com