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Released: Thursday, December 22, 2011

Next month's release will incorporate benchmark revisions to the composite indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Every January, data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.5 percent in November to 118.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “November’s increase in the LEI for the U.S. was widespread among the leading indicators and continues to suggest that the risk of an economic downturn in the near term has receded. Interest rate spread and housing permits made the largest contributions to the LEI this month, overcoming a falling average workweek in manufacturing, which reversed its October gain. The CEI also rose on improving employment and personal income although industrial production fell in November.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The LEI is pointing to continued growth this winter, possibly even gaining momentum by spring. For the second month in a row, building permits made a relatively strong contribution and there is a chance that the long decline in housing is finally slowing. However, this somewhat positive outlook for the domestic economy is at odds with a global economy that appears to be losing steam. In particular, a deeper-than-expected recession in Europe could easily derail the outlook for the U.S. economy.”

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. www.conference-board.org

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 103.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October and a 0.1 percent increase in September.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.1 percent in November to 110.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.

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

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