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Released: Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in March
Solid Economic Growth to Continue Through 2018

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.3 percent in March to 109.0 (2016 = 100), following a 0.7 percent increase in February, and a 0.8 percent increase in January.

“The U.S. LEI increased in March, and while the monthly gain is slower than in previous months, its six-month growth rate increased further and points to continued solid growth in the U.S. economy for the rest of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The strengths among the components of the leading index have been very widespread over the last six months. However, labor market components made negative contributions in March and bear watching in the near future.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in March to 103.4 (2016 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in February, and a 0.1 percent decline in January.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in March to 104.5 (2016 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in February and a 0.3 percent increase in January.

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. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), 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

The next release is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 at 10 A.M. ET.

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Joseph DiBlasi:
1 781 308 7935
joseph.diblasi@conference-board.org

All data contained herein are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and/or The Conference Board’s Terms of Use. Except as expressly permitted by The Conference Board or applicable law, the data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, republished, or reposted by any means.

Download related PDFs

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

Press Release
With graph and summary table

Straight Talk March 2018

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2018: Back to the Old Normal?