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Released: Thursday, January 24, 2013

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This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic 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, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

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

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. rose 0.5 percent in December to 93.9 (2004 = 100), following no change in November, and a 0.3 percent increase in October.  

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI rose sharply in December, led by a large improvement in initial claims for unemployment insurance and positive contributions from the interest rate spread and the Leading Credit Index™. The increase in the LEI brought its six-month growth rate well above zero, with roughly two-thirds of the components advancing in the last six months. However, consumer expectations and manufacturers' new orders remain weak.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The latest data suggest that a pickup in domestic growth is now more likely, compared to a few months ago. Housing, which has long been a drag, has turned into a positive for growth, and will help improve consumer balance sheets and strengthen consumption. However, for growth to gain more traction we also need to see better performance on new orders and an acceleration in capital spending.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in December to 104.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in November, and no change in October.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.7 percent in December to 117.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in November, and a 0.3 percent increase in October.  

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:

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

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

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