Conference Board Leading Economic Index for U.S. increases

RP news wires

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the United States increased 1.1 percent in November to 112.4 (2004=100), following a 0.4 percent increase in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September. The report was released on December 17.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: "November's sharp increase in the LEI, the fifth consecutive gain, is an early sign that the expansion is gaining momentum and spreading. Nearly all components rose in November. Continuing strength in financial indicators is now joined by gains in manufacturing and consumer expectations, but housing remains weak."

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: "The U.S. economy is showing some sparks of life in late 2010. Overall, the indicators point to a mild pickup after a slow winter. Looking further out, possible clouds on the medium term horizon include weaknesses in housing and employment."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 101.7 (2004=100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent decline in September. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index (LAG) declined 0.1 percent in November to 108.6 (2004=100), following no change in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.  

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 10 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
 
  • Index of supplier deliveries – vendor performance
 
  • Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods
 
  • Building permits, new private housing units
 
  • Stock prices, 500 common stocks
 
  • Money supply, M2
 
  • Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
 
  • Index of consumer expectations
 
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