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Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Leading Economic Index for March 2023

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for March 2023 this morning:


Index for March 2023: 108.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)


Predicted: -0.5%
  • Actual: -1.185% (-1.3 points)


  • LEI for February 2023: 109.7

  • LEI for January 2023: 110.2

  • LEI for December 2022: 110.7

  • LEI for November 2022: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2022: 112.5

  • LEI for September 2022: 113.5

  • LEI for August 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for July 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for June 2022: 117.1

  • LEI for May 2022: 117.9

  • LEI for April 2022: 118.7

  • LEI for March 2022: 119.3

  • LEI for February 2022: 119.4

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.5


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 6-Month Growth Rate with Warning + Recession Signals - March 2023 UPDATE

CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
 March 2023 UPDATE
From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI fell to its lowest level since November of 2020, consistent with worsening economic conditions ahead,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'The weaknesses among the index’s components were widespread in March and have been so over the past six months, which pushed the growth rate of the LEI deeper into negative territory.

Only stock prices and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials contributed positively over the last six months.

The Conference Board forecasts that economic weakness will intensify and spread more widely throughout the US economy over the coming months, leading to a recession starting in mid-2023.'..


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