Monday, September 21, 2009

Stat of the Day: Leading Economic Indicators Hit 8.9% Annual Rate

For the 5th month in a row, the Leading Economic Indicators soared higher. All this time, the leading economists have dismissed the rally in the markets. Now the LEIs have reached a point of 8.9% annual growth over the last 6 months and still most of the 'experts' commenting about the numbers only suggest that the recession is over, but the recovery is questionable. The data suggests otherwise and its foolish to base your decision on the Lagging Indicators which seems to be the typical error.

  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™ (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.6 percent in August, following a 0.9 percent gain in July, and a 0.8 percent rise in June.
  • "Since reaching a peak in July 2007, the LEI fell for twenty months – the longest downtrend since the mid 1970s – but it has been rising since April and its gains have become very widespread," says Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. "The six-month growth rate of the LEI continues to accelerate. At the same time, the downtrend in the coincident economic index, measuring current economic activity, seems to be stabilizing, with the index flat so far this quarter."
  • Says Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board: "The LEI has risen for five consecutive months and the coincident economic index has stopped falling. Taken together, this suggests that the recession is bottoming out. These numbers are consistent with the view that after a very severe downturn, a recovery is very near. But, the intensity and pattern of that recovery is more uncertain."

Some interesting reading from a Yahoo! Finance report:

  • The recession's end "is no longer a source of heated discussion ... but whether or not the economy can keep grinding forward (and at what speed) is still a big question mark," Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients Monday.
  • A measure of supplier deliveries, rising stock prices, an increase in consumer expectations, a jump in building permits and the "interest rate spread" boosted the index in August.
  • The leading indicators index jumped 4.4 percent -- an 8.9 percent annual rate -- in the six months through August. That's the fastest six-month growth rate since March 2004. The increase in the six months through July was 3.3 percent. (This is a sign that the 6 month and annual rate could accelerate even more)

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