2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increases Economy Continues to Fluctuate Around a Slow Growth Trend

NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.6 percent in September to 95.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent decline in August, and a 0.4 percent increase in July.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: "The U.S. LEI increased in September, more than offsetting the decline in August. The LEI has been signaling an economy that is fluctuating around a slow growth trend. The six-month growth rate has slowed substantially, but still remains in growth territory due to positive contributions from the housing and financial components. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index also increased in September."

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: "The single biggest challenge remains weak demand, domestically and globally. The struggle to regain firmer ground – in financial markets, international trade and global industrial output – continues because of weak consumer demand and a lack of more robust business investment."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in September to 105.1 (2004 = 100), following no change in August, and a 0.6 percent increase in July.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.1 percent in September to 116.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in August, and a 0.3 percent increase in July.

Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes



2012

6-month



 Jul

Aug

Sep

Mar to Sep










Leading index

95.7

r

95.3

r

95.9

p



Percent Change

.4

r

-.4

r

.6

p

0.3


Diffusion

70.0


40.0


65.0


50.0









Coincident Index

104.9

r

104.9

r

105.1

p



Percent Change

.6

r

.0

r

.2

p

1.3


Diffusion

87.5


50.0


100.0


100.0









Lagging Index

116.3


116.7

r

116.8

p



Percent Change

.3


.3

r

.1

p

2.1


Diffusion

42.9


64.3


35.7


78.6










n.a.

Not available


p

 Preliminary

r

Revised



Indexes equal 100 in 2004

Source: The Conference Board 

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. 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

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