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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Leading Economic Index for December 2017

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for December 2017 this morning:

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Index for December: 107.0 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data§.)

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.6%

  • Previous Month: +0.5%

  • Two Months Previous: +1.3%

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The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

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Leading Economic Index (LEI) - December 2017
Leading Economic Index (LEI) - December 2017

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From Today's Report:

"...Economic Growth to Continue Through First Half of 2018

...'The U.S. LEI continued rising rapidly in December, pointing to a continuation of strong economic growth in the first half of 2018. The passing of the tax plan is likely to provide even more tailwind to the current expansion,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The gains among the leading indicators have been widespread, with most of the strength concentrated in new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, improving stock markets and financial conditions'..."

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§ =  This month’s release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. Also, with this benchmark revision, the base year of the composite indexes was changed to 2016 = 100 from 2010 = 100. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

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