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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Leading Economic Index for August 2018

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

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Index for August: 111.2 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.361% (+0.4 point)

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  • July 2018 Reading: 110.8  (+0.727%  |  +0.8 point)

  • June 2018 Reading: 110.0 (+0.548%  |  +0.6 point)

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The yellow-highlighted percentage is 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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Chart: Leading Economic Index - August 2018 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - August 2018 Update

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From Today's Report:

"...'The leading indicators are consistent with a solid growth scenario in the second half of 2018 and at this stage of a maturing business cycle in the US, it doesn’t get much better than this,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The US LEI’s growth trend has moderated since the start of the year. Industrial companies that are more sensitive to the business cycle should be on the lookout for a possible moderation in economic growth in 2019.

The strengths among the LEI’s components were very widespread, further supporting an outlook of above 3.0 percent growth for the remainder of 2018.'..."

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