June 26, 2017 / 1:17 PM / a month ago

Chicago Fed national activity index tumbles in May

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FILE PHOTO: Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans takes a question during a round table with the media in Shanghai, China March 23, 2010.Nir Elias/File Photo - RTS17R27

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

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