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Released: Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in December

Economic Growth to Continue Through First Half of 2018

NOTE: 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. Also, with this benchmark revision, the base year of the composite indexes was changed to 2016 = 100 from 2010 = 100. 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 http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm or contact us at indicators@conference-board.org.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.6 percent in December to 107.0 (2016 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in November, and a 1.3 percent increase in October.

“The U.S. LEI continued rising rapidly in December, pointing to a continuation of strong economic growth in the first half of 2018. The passing of the tax plan is likely to provide even more tailwind to the current expansion,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The gains among the leading indicators have been widespread, with most of the strength concentrated in new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, improving stock markets and financial conditions.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in December to 102.8 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in November, and a 0.4 percent increase in October.  

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.7 percent in December to 104.0 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 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. 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, February 22 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

Jonathan Liu:
1 212 339 0257
jonathan.liu@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.

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