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Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Leading Economic Index for March 2022

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for March 2022 this morning:


Index for March 2022: 119.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)


Predicted: +0.3%
  • Actual: +0.251% (+0.3 point)


  • LEI for February 2022: 119.5

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.8

  • LEI for December 2021: 119.3

  • LEI for November 2021: 118.9

  • LEI for October 2021: 118.1

  • LEI for September 2021: 117.6 


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, non-defense 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 - March 2022 Update

CHART: Leading Economic Index
March 2022 Update

From Today's Report:

"...The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for the U.S. increased by 0.3% in March to 119.8 (2016 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in February. The LEI increased by 1.9% in the six-month period from September 2021 to March 2022.

'The US LEI rose again in March despite headwinds from the war in Ukraine,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'This broad-based improvement signals economic growth is likely to continue through 2022 despite volatile stock prices and weakening business and consumer expectations. The Conference Board projects 3.0% year-over-year US GDP growth in 2022, which is slower than the 5.6% pace of 2021, but still well above [pre-
COVID-19] trend. This rate also reflects a 0.5 [percentage point] downgrade incorporated in our base case to include the effects of the war in Ukraine compared to before the war (3.5%.)

However, downside risks to the growth outlook remain, associated with intensification of supply chain disruptions and
inflation linked to lingering pandemic shutdowns and the war, as well as with tightening monetary policy and persistent labor shortages.'..."


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