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Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Leading Economic Index for January 2020

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for January 2020 this morning:


Index for January: 112.1 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)


Predicted: +0.3%
  • Actual: +0.809% (+0.9 point)


  • LEI for December 2019: 111.2
  • LEI for November 2019: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2019: 111.4

  • LEI for September 2019: 111.6


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™

Chart: Leading Economic Index - January 2020 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - January 2020 Update

From Today's Report:

"...'The strong pickup in the January US LEI was driven by a sharp drop in initial unemployment insurance claims, increasing housing permits, consumers’ outlook on the economy and financial indicators,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'The LEI’s six-month growth rate has returned to positive territory, suggesting that the current economic expansion -- at about 2 percent -- will continue through early 2020. While weakness in manufacturing appears to show signs of softening, the COVID-19 outbreak may impact manufacturing supply chains in the US in the coming months.'..."



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