The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

CHARTS

LEI points to a deep recession with no sign of fast rebound

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for the US dropped 4.4 percent in April, following a decline of 7.4 percent in March. The decline marks the end of more than 11 years of economic expansion and clearly indicates the US economy is now in deep recession territory. This downturn differs from previous recessions—the bursting of the tech bubble in 2001 and the Great Recession of 2008–2009. This time, there were few indications of a potential downturn, but once the shock of the pandemic hit, the drop was much sharper. The underlying components of the index show spotty improvements in financial markets in April. However, the widespread damage to labor markets and industrial activity suggests the imminent reopening of some sectors won’t be enough to generate a fast rebound for the economy at large.

 


Note: The LEI is a composite average of leading indicators, including working hours, unemployment claims, orders for production, and financial market data. It reveals turning point patterns more accurately because it smooths out the volatility of any individual component.

Support Our Work

Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.

Donate

FILTER BY CENTER

Our Experts

Thought leaders who provide trusted insights for navigating companies and the economy though COVID-19.

BartVanArk1.jpg

Bart van Ark

Outgoing Chief Economist; Program Director, CFO: Fortune 250 Council

LynnFranco1.jpg

Lynn Franco

Director, Economic Indicators and Surveys

Ataman.jpg

Ataman Ozyildirim, PhD

Director, Economic Research, and Global Research Chair

MatteoTonello.jpg

Matteo Tonello

Managing Director, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

GadLevanon.jpg

Gad Levanon, PhD

Vice President, Labor Markets

DavidHoffman1.jpg

David Hoffman

Senior Vice President Asia and Managing Director of the China Center for Economics & Business

Ray, Rebecca 120 x 120.jpg

Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

Executive Vice President, Human Capital

Schrader, Anke 120x120.jpg

Anke Schrader

Senior Researcher

AmyAbel.jpg

Amy Lui Abel, PhD

Vice President, Human Capital Research

ThomasSinger.jpg

Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher

Uwe-Portrait-120x120.jpg

Dr. Uwe G. Schulte

Leader, Global Sustainability Centre and Program Director

Washington.jpg

Paul Washington

Executive Director, ESG Center

IlariaMaselli.jpg

Ilaria Maselli

Senior Economist

rsz_popiela__amanda.jpg

Amanda Popiela

Researcher, Human Capital

ElizabethCrofoot.jpg

Elizabeth Crofoot

Senior Economist, Labor Markets

JohnForsyth.jpg

John Forsyth

Leader of the Consumer Dynamics Institute

CindyCisneros.jpg

Cindy Cisneros

Vice President of Education Programs

Odland, Steve 120x120.jpg

Steve Odland

President and CEO

JeffHoffman.jpg

Jeff Hoffman

Institute Leader, Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, ESG Center

JoeMinarik.jpg

Joseph J. Minarik

Senior Vice President and Director of Research

ErickLundh.jpg

Erik Lundh

Senior Economist

RobinEriksen.jpg

Robin Erickson, PhD

Principal Researcher

JP.jpg

JP Kuehlwein

Marketing Institute Leader

DeniseDahlhoff.jpg

Denise Dahlhoff, PhD

Senior Researcher, Consumer Research

Sabattini, Laura 120x120.jpg

Laura Sabattini, PhD

Principal Researcher, Human Capital

Schwarz Robert.JPG

Robert Schwarz

Senior Researcher, ESG Center

Chiqui.jpg

Chiqui Cartagena

Chief Marketing Officer & Center Leader, Marketing & Communications

Dr. Mahdy Al Jazzaf1.png

Dr. Mahdy Al Jazzaf

Executive Director

DevinOConnor.jpg

Devin O’Connor

Deputy Director, Economic Research

OTHER RELATED CONTENT

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Meeting the Upskilling Challenge: Training in the Time of COVID-19

Meeting the Upskilling Challenge: Training in the Time of COVID-19

July 28, 2020 | Committee for Economic Development

US Health Care in the Pandemic

US Health Care in the Pandemic

July 22, 2020 | Committee for Economic Development