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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increases

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in October to 96.0  (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in September, and a 0.4 percent decline in August.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: "The U.S. LEI increased slightly in October, the second consecutive increase. The LEI still points to modestly expanding economic activity in the near term.  Over the last six months, improvements in the residential construction and financial components of the LEI have offset weak consumer expectations, manufacturing new orders and labor market components. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index also increased slightly in October."

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: "Based on current trends, the economy will continue to expand modestly through the early months of 2013. Hurricane Sandy, which is not yet fully reflected in the LEI, will likely adversely affect consumer spending and home building in the short-term, but it's too soon to gauge the net impact. In addition, the outcome of the fiscal cliff debates is another factor which could alter the outlook."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in October to 104.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in September, and a 0.4 percent decline in August.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in October to 117.1 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent decline in September, and a 0.4 percent increase in August.

Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes



2012

6-month



Aug


Sep


Oct


Apr to Oct

Leading index

95.3

r

95.8

r

96.0

p



Percent Change

-.4

r

.5

r

.2

p

0.5


Diffusion

40.0


65.0


50.0


50.0










Coincident Index

104.5

r

104.7

r

104.8

p



Percent Change

-.4

r

.2


.1

p

0.8


Diffusion

25.0


75.0


75.0


75.0










Lagging Index

116.8

r

116.7

r

117.1

p



Percent Change

.4

r

-.1

r

.3

p

1.8


Diffusion

78.6


28.6


64.3


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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