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Released: Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in August to 110.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in July, and a 0.2 percent decline in June.   

Download a PDF of the technical notes for underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs.

Download a PDF of the press release with graph and summary table.

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “While the recession officially ended in June 2009, the recent pace of growth has been disappointingly slow, fueling concern that the economic recovery could fade and the U.S. could slide back into recession. However, latest data from the U.S. LEI suggest little change in economic conditions over the next few months. Expect more of the same – a weak economy with little forward momentum through 2010 and early 2011.”

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI, which began rising three months before the end of the recession, remains on a general upward trend. However, the pace has been slowing. Correspondingly, current economic conditions, as measured by The Conference Board CEI, have been essentially flat since May, after reaching a bottom in June 2009. Taken together, the composite indexes are consistent with a slowly expanding economy in the near term.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. was unchanged in August, remaining at 101.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in July, and no change in June. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.2 percent in August to 108.1 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in July, and a 0.1 percent increase in June.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing

Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance

Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials

Index of supplier deliveries – vendor performance

Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods

Building permits, new private housing units

Stock prices, 500 common stocks

Money supply, M2

Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds

Index of consumer expectations

 

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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