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Released: Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in May to 95.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.8 percent increase in April, and a 0.3 percent decline in March.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “Despite month-to-month volatility, the LEI’s six-month growth rate remains steady, suggesting that conditions in the economy remain resilient. Widespread gains in the leading indicators over the last six months suggest there is some upside potential for economic activity in the second half of the year.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “Growth will depend on continued improvement in the housing market and an easing of consumer and business caution which would allow overall consumption and investment to gain traction. Cutbacks in public spending programs and the drag from foreign trade remain headwinds.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in May to 105.6 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in April, and a 0.1 percent increase in March.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in May to 118.6 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in April, and a 0.3 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
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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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.


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

Press Release
With graph and summary table

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