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Economy Improves

Every month I look forward to the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index report. If you are like me all during the month I read conflicting reports on the health of the economy and I really get confused. When I watch TV, sometimes it seems like the same economist gives a different view of the economy on two different channels and I don't know what to believe.
The reason I like the Conference Board's report is it is very simple. It has just 21 indicators broken into 3 groups and for years has not changed the format of the report. This month the results are:
  • Leading Economic Indicators -- rose by .9% with 6 of 10 indicators increasing -- Consumer expectations was the biggest downer
  • Coincident Economic Indicators -- rose by .2% with 3 of 4 indicators increasing -- Good news was employment was even without a negative figure
  • Lagging Economic Indicators -- still negative with only 2 of the 7 indicators positive -- Consumer and Industrial loans are still a problem

This month we are positive overall with 11 of 21 indicators positive. Does this mean the recession is over? No, but it seems to have hit the bottom of the trough and the daylight at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

When I look at the report I know that my plans to invest into the market have some backing from the economy. Let's get this party started.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: no stocks mentioned