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Home News USA The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased 0.4 Percent in December 2011


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased 0.4 Percent in December 2011
added: 2012-01-26

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4 percent in December to 94.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in November and a 0.6 percent increase in October. This month’s data inaugurates a number of major changes to the components and calculation of the LEI.

“Revised figures show that adding the new Leading Credit Index™, in conjunction with other changes, makes the LEI a more accurate predictor of U.S. business cycles since 1990,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “The improvement is especially pronounced before and during the 2008-2009 recession, and during the current expansion. In December, the LEI for the U.S. increased again. The gain was widespread among the leading indicators, suggesting economic conditions should improve in early 2012. However, the LEI gain in December was held back by negative contributions from the new Leading Credit Index — which indicates weak credit and financial conditions — and from consumer expectations for business and economic conditions.”

Added Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The CEI and other recent data reflect an economy that ended 2011 on a positive note and the LEI provides some reason for cautious optimism in the­ first half of 2012. This somewhat positive outlook for a strengthening domestic economy would seem to be at odds with a global economy that is losing some steam. Looking ahead, the big question remains whether cooling conditions elsewhere will limit domestic growth or, conversely, growth in the U.S. will lend some economic support to the rest of the globe.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in December to 103.4 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in November and a 0.8 percent increase in October.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in December to 113.4 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in November and a 0.5 percent increase in October.


Source: The Conference Board

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