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Released: Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.3 percent in April to 114.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.7 percent increase in March, and a 0.9 percent increase in February.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI has been rising since March 2009, with only a brief one-month interruption in June 2010, and now, in April 2011. The U.S. CEI, a monthly measure of current economic conditions, continued to increase, supported by improving employment figures. Overall, the composite indexes still point to strengthening business conditions in the near term, although the path may be uneven.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The economy has been growing moderately and delivering some new jobs. The U.S. LEI was rising strongly – up sharply in four of the five months through March – but slipped in April. Economic growth will likely continue through the summer and fall, but the pace of economic activity may be choppy.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in April to 102.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in March, and a 0.1 percent decline in February.  

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.5 percent in April to 108.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.3 percent increase in February.

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 full press release and technical notes:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

 

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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