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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Leading Economic Index for April 2020

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

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Index for April 2020: 98.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: -6.0%
  • Actual: -4.449% (-4.6 points)

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  • LEI for March 2020: 103.4

  • LEI for February 2020: 111.7
     
  • LEI for January 2020: 111.9

  • LEI for December 2019: 111.4

  • LEI for November 2019: 111.6

  • LEI for October 2019: 111.4

  • LEI for September 2019: 111.6

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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 - April 2020 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - April 2020 Update
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From Today's Report:

"...'In April, the US LEI continued on a downward trajectory, after posting the largest decline in its 60-year history in March,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'The erosion has been very widespread, except for stock prices and the interest rate spread which partially reflect the rapid and large response of the Federal Reserve to offset the pandemic’s impact and support financial conditions. The sharp declines in the LEI and CEI suggest that the U.S. economy is now in recession territory.'

'Business conditions may recover for some sectors and industries over the next few months,' added Bart van Ark, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, 'But, the breadth and depth of the decline in the LEI suggests that an imminent re-opening of some sectors does not imply a fast rebound for the economy at large.'..."

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