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Released: Monday, April 21, 2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in March to 100.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in February, and a 0.2 percent increase in January.

“The LEI rose sharply again, the third consecutive monthly increase,” said Ataman Ozyildirim Economist at The Conference Board. “After a winter pause, the leading indicators are gaining momentum and economic growth is gaining traction. While the improvements were broad-based, labor market indicators and the interest rate spread largely drove the March increase, offsetting the negative contribution from building permits. And, for the first time in many months, the consumer outlook is much less negative.” “

“The March increase in the LEI suggests accelerated growth for the remainder of the spring and the summer,” said Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board. “The economy is rebounding from widespread inclement weather and the strengthening in the labor market is beginning to have a positive impact on growth. Overall, this is an optimistic report, but the focus will continue to be on whether improvements in the labor market can be sustained, fueling stronger economic performance over the next few months.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in March to 108.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in February, and a 0.1 percent decline in January.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.6 percent in March to 123.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in February, and a 0.6 percent increase in January.

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
ISM® Index of New Orders
Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
Building permits, new private housing units
Stock prices, 500 common stocks
Leading Credit Index™
Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
Average consumer expectations for business conditions

For full press release and technical notes:
www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

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

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Ken Goldstein: +1 (212) 339-0331
Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter
+1 (212) 339-0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

©The Conference Board 2013. All data contained in this table are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and the Terms of Use displayed on our website at www.conference-board.org. The data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, published, or posted by any means without express written permission from The Conference Board.

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Download related PDFs

Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

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