The US Leading Economic Index (LEI) declined 0.3%
in April to 114.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.7% increase in March, and a 0.9%
rise in February.
Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board said: "The US. LEI
has been rising since March 2009, with only a brief one-month interruption in
June 2010, and now, in April 2011. The US. CEI, a monthly measure of current
economic conditions, continued to increase, supported by improving employment
figures. Overall, the composite indexes still point to strengthening business
conditions in the near term, although the path may be uneven."
Ken Goldstein commented: "The economy has been growing moderately and
delivering some new jobs. The US. LEI was rising strongly – up sharply in four
of the five months through March – but slipped in April. Economic growth will
likely continue through the summer and fall, but the pace of economic activity
may be choppy."
The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) increased 0.1% in April to 102.8 (2004 =
100), following a 0.2% increase in March, and a 0.1% decline in February.
The Lagging Economic Index (LAG) rose 0.5% in April to 108.8 (2004 = 100),
following a 0.3% increase in March, and a 0.3% increase in February.
The Conference Board, a private new York-based research
firm, said that 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
The ten components of Leading Economic Index
- Average weekly hours, manufacturing
- Average weekly initial claims for unemployment
- Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and
- Index of supplier deliveries – vendor performance
- Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods
- Building permits, new private housing units
- Stock prices, 500 common stocks
- Money supply, M2
- Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less
- Index of consumer expectations