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Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. Increases

NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2011  — The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for the U.S. increased 0.5 percent in November to 118.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “November’s increase in the LEI for the U.S. was widespread among the leading indicators and continues to suggest that the risk of an economic downturn in the near term has receded. Interest rate spread and housing permits made the largest contributions to the LEI this month, overcoming a falling average workweek in manufacturing, which reversed its October gain. The CEI also rose on improving employment and personal income although industrial production fell in November.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The LEI is pointing to continued growth this winter, possibly even gaining momentum by spring. For the second month in a row, building permits made a relatively strong contribution and there is a chance that the long decline in housing is finally slowing. However, this somewhat positive outlook for the domestic economy is at odds with a global economy that appears to be losing steam. In particular, a deeper-than-expected recession in Europe could easily derail the outlook for the U.S. economy.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 103.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October and a 0.1 percent increase in September.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.1 percent in November to 110.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.


Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes
2011 6-month
Sep Oct Nov May to Nov
Leading index 116.3 117.4 118.0 p
Percent Change .1 .9 .5 p 2.8
Diffusion 45.0 80.0 70.0 50.0
Coincident Index 103.4 r 103.6 r 103.7 p
Percent Change .1 r .2 .1 p 0.8
Diffusion 50.0 100.0 75.0 100.0
Lagging Index 110.1 r 110.8 r 110.9 p
Percent Change .1 .6 .1 p 1.4
Diffusion 42.9 64.3 50.0 42.9
n.a. Not available p Preliminary r Revised
Indexes equal 100 in 2004
Source: The Conference Board
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