Conference Board Leading Economic Index Increases

NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —  The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for the U.S. increased 0.5 percent in July to 115.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in June, and a 0.7 percent increase in May. The largest positive contributions came from money supply, the interest rate spread, and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted).

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI continued to increase in July. However, with the exception of the money supply and interest rate components, other leading indicators show greater weakness – consistent with increasing concerns about the health of the economic expansion. Despite rising volatility, the leading indicators still suggest economic activity should be slowly expanding through the end of the year.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The economy is slow, with little momentum, and shows no indication of acceleration. The gains in the LEI are modest, especially the nonfinancial indicators. Despite these growing risks, the economy should continue to expand at a modest pace through the fall.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in July to 103.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in June, and a 0.1 percent increase in May.   Three of the four coincident indicators advanced over the past six months.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.2 percent in July to 110.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in June, and a 0.4 percent increase in May.