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Economic Data (USA)

Monday, January 24, 2022

Leading Economic Index for December 2021

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for December 2021 this morning:


Index for December 2021: 120.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)


Predicted: +1.0%
  • Actual: +0.751% (+0.9 point)


  • LEI for November 2021: 119.9

  • LEI for October 2021: 119.1


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 - December 2021 Update
CHART: Leading Economic Index
December 2021 Update

From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI ended 2021 on a rising trajectory, suggesting the economy will continue to expand well into the spring,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'For the first quarter, headwinds from the Omicron variant , labor shortages, and inflationary pressures -- as well as the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hikes -- may moderate economic growth. The Conference Board forecasts GDP growth for Q1 2022 to slow to a relatively healthy 2.2 percent (annualized). Still, for all of 2022, we forecast the US economy will expand by a robust 3.5 percent, well above the pre-pandemic trend growth.'..."


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