The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in April
Economic Expansion to Continue, and Possibly Strengthen, in Near Term
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.3 percent in April to 126.9 (2010 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.5 percent increase in February.
“The recent trend in the U.S. LEI, led by the positive outlook of consumers and financial markets, continues to point to a growing economy, perhaps even a cyclical pickup,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “First quarter’s weak GDP growth is likely a temporary hiccup as the economy returns to its long-term trend of about 2 percent. While the majority of leading indicators have been contributing positively in recent months, housing permits followed by average workweek in manufacturing have been the sources of weakness among the U.S. LEI components.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in April to 115.2 (2010 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.1 percent increase in February.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in April to 124.1 (2010 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in March and a 0.2 percent increase in February.
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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