Press Release Archive
Released: Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased
Economy to Continue Expanding in Near-Term
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.2 percent in February to 111.5 (2016 = 100), following no change in January, and a 0.1 percent decline in December.
“The US LEI increased in February for the first time in five months,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “February’s improvement was driven by accommodative financial conditions and a rebound in stock prices, which more than offset weaknesses in the labor market components. Despite the latest results, the US LEI’s growth rate has slowed over the past six months, suggesting that while the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, its pace of growth could decelerate by year end.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in February to 105.9 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in January, and a 0.4 percent increase in December.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. was unchanged in February at 107.0 (2016 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in January and a 0.4 percent increase in December.
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 the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.
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