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Released: Friday, June 17, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in May to 114.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent decline in April, and a 0.7 percent increase in March. The largest contributions came from the interest rate spread, consumer expectations, and housing permits.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI rebounded in May and resumed its upward trend with a majority of the components supporting this gain. The Coincident Economic Index, a monthly measure of current economic conditions, continued to increase slowly but steadily. Overall, despite short-term volatility, the composite indexes still point to expanding economic activity in the coming months.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “Modest economic growth is being buffeted by some strong headwinds, including high gas and food prices and a soft housing market. The economy will likely continue to grow through the summer and fall, however it will be choppy.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in May to 102.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in April, and a 0.2 percent increase in March.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in May to 109.1 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in April, and a 0.2 percent increase in March.

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:

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

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.


Download related PDFs

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

Press Release
With graph and summary table

Straight Talk November 2015

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2016: Escaping the Global Economy's Holding Pattern

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