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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Leading Economic Index for February 2018

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for February 2018 this morning:

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Index for February: 108.7 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.648%

  • Previous Month: 108.0 (+0.84%)

  • Two Months Previous: 107.1 (+0.658%)

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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) - February 2018
Leading Economic Index (LEI) - February 2018

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI rose again, despite a sharp downturn in stock markets and weakness in housing construction in February,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The LEI points to robust economic growth throughout 2018. Its six-month growth rate has not been this high since the first quarter of 2011. While the Federal Reserve is on track to continue raising its benchmark rate for the rest of the year, the recent weakness in residential construction and stock prices – important leading indicators - should be monitored closely.'..."

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