Leading Economic Indicator Up for Last Five Months

The Conference Board’s leading economic indicator is continuing its moonshot.  The headlines:

The November 2010 Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.1 percent in November to 112.4 (2004=100), following a 0.4 percent increase in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “November’s sharp increase in the LEI, the fifth consecutive gain, is an early sign that the expansion is gaining momentum and spreading. Nearly all components rose in November. Continuing strength in financial indicators is now joined by gains in manufacturing and consumer expectations, but housing remains weak.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. economy is showing some sparks of life in late 2010. Overall, the indicators point to a mild pickup after a slow winter. Looking further out, possible clouds on the medium term horizon include weaknesses in housing and employment.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 101.7 (2004=100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent decline in September. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) declined 0.1 percent in November to 108.6 (2004=100), following no change in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

As a disclosure, this is not my favorite leading indicator.  It is weighted too heavily on monetary issues which have been distorted by the Federal Reserve’s great experiments in monetary policy.

Econintersect has recently reviewed all the leading indicators (analysis here).  Further, a fairly negative review of the LEI was published by a major bank (analysis here).

Later this month, Econintersect will be releasing its January economic outlook.  Although all the data is not in, early indications are a more positive January outlook.

Related Articles

December Economic Outlook Slightly Improved  by John Lounsbury

Leading Economic Indicator Points to Spring 2011 Improvement  by Steven Hansen

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