Friday, October 23, 2009

Leading Economic Indicators Show Impressive 6 Month Gain

Still amazes me how little attention the Leading Economic Index from the Conference Board gets from the market. The Conference Board reported a September number with a 1% increase and a 5.7% 6 month growth rate. This forecasts huge growth in Q4 and Q1 but oddly the head of the Conference Board stills tells a cautious tale. With a 6 month rate at the highest since 1983, its difficult to see any negative scenarios for the economy.


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™ (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.0 percent in September, following a 0.4 percent gain in August, and a 1.0 percent rise in July.

"With the sixth consecutive increase, the LEI's six-month growth rate has improved to its highest pace since 1983," says Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. "Except for average workweek and building permits, all the leading indicators contributed positively to the index this month. At the same time, the contraction in the coincident economic index has halted in recent months, but the continued downtrend in employment is keeping this index of current economic conditions from rising faster."

Says Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board: "The LEI has risen for six consecutive months and the coincident economic index has increased in two of the last three months. These numbers strongly suggest that a recovery is developing. However, the intensity of that recovery will depend on how much, and how soon, demand picks up."

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