Global Business Cycle Indicators
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Released: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in October to 97.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9 percent increase in September, and a 0.7 percent increase in August.
“The modest rise in the Leading Economic Index in October follows the strong advances recorded in the prior two months, which helps lift the six-month annualized growth rate to 5.1 percent from 3.7 percent in the previous six months,” said Kathy Bostjancic, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at The Conference Board. “The recent increase in the index supports our forecast that the U.S. economy is poised to grow somewhat faster at 2.3 in 2014 compared to 1.6 percent in 2013. Within the details, the sub-indexes contributing positively to growth are the financial, housing and manufacturing variables. Restraining growth is the ongoing caution of businesses that continue to keep tight reins on capital expenditures.”
“The US LEI has increased for four consecutive months,” said Ken Goldstein, Economist for The Conference Board. “Overall, the data reflect strengthening conditions in the underlying economy. However, headwinds still persist from the labor market, accompanied by business caution and concern about federal budget battles. The biggest challenge to date has been relatively weak consumer demand, which continues to be restrained by weak wage growth and slumping confidence.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in October to 106.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in September, and a 0.3 percent increase in August.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in October to 119.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in September and a 0.2 percent increase in August.
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
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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.
Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:
Ken Goldstein: +1 (212) 339-0331
Indicators Program: +1 (212) 339-0330
+1 (212) 339-0232
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