Leading Economic Index Points to Ongoing Growth

by: Mark J. Perry

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The Conference Board reported today that its Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.8% in May to 114.7 (see chart above), with the largest positive contributions to the index coming from the interest rate spread, consumer expectations and building permits. The LEI has now increased in 25 out of the last 26 months starting in April 2009, with the only monthly decrease occurring in April of this year.

According to economist Ataman Ozyildirim at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI rebounded in May and resumed its upward trend with a majority of the components supporting this gain. The Coincident Economic Index, a monthly measure of current economic conditions, continued to increase slowly but steadily. Overall, despite short-term volatility, the composite indexes still point to expanding economic activity in the coming months.”

MP: Despite some recent signs of a temporary slowdown in some areas of the economy, the ongoing upward trend in the Leading Economic Index that started in the spring of 2009 suggests that the economic expansion will continue through the rest of 2011 and beyond.