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Released: Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™ (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.1 percent in December, following a 1.0 percent gain in November, and a 0.3 percent rise in October.

NOTE: This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

In addition to annual benchmark revisions, The Conference Board (TCB) continuously monitors the behavior and performance of the composite indexes and their components and makes changes from time to time (See BCI Handbook 2001, for a description of the previous comprehensive revision that TCB undertook in 1996.) These occasional comprehensive benchmark revisions are consistent with long-standing TCB policy to make changes to the indexes when research indicates substantial improvements are possible. These changes are the result of research at TCB and regular consultations with its Business Cycle Indicators Advisory Panel and other experts. Details of these changes will be announced in advance in the technical notes and posted on our website when they are available.

For more information, please visit our website at www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/ or contact us at indicators@conference-board.org.

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 Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board: "The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. increased sharply in December, and has risen steadily for nine consecutive months. The six-month growth rate has picked up slightly to 5.2 percent (about a 10.8 percent annual rate) in the period through December, substantially higher than earlier in the year. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained very widespread in recent months."

Adds Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board: "The indicators point to an economy in early recovery. The coincident economic index shows slow expansion of economic activity through December. The leading economic index suggests that the pace of improvement could pick up this spring."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index™ (CEI) for the U.S. rose 0.1 percent in December, following a 0.1 percent increase in both November and October. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index™ (LAG) declined 0.2 percent in December, following a 0.5 percent decline in November, and a 0.2 percent decline in October.

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

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