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
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