Leading Economic Indicators Continue to Soar
Highlights of the LEI section of the report:
- The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. rose again in July, its fourth consecutive increase. The six-month change in the index has risen to 3.0 percent (a 6.2 percent annual rate) in the period through July, up substantially from -2.8 percent (a -5.4 percent annual rate) for the previous six months, and the strengths among the leading indicators have grown more widespread in recent months. The interest rate spread, initial unemployment claims and the average workweek made large positive contributions to the index this month, more than offsetting the negative contributions from consumer expectations, real money supply, and building permits.
- LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. increased in July. The positive contributors – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were interest rate spread, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), average weekly manufacturing hours, index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance), stock prices, and manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods*. The negative contributors – beginning with the largest negative contributor – were index of consumer expectations, real money supply*, and building permits. The manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials* held steady in July.
- The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. now stands at 101.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in June and increased 1.2 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading economic index increased 3.0 percent, with eight out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85 percent).