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U.S. Leading Economic Index increased 0.5%
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.5 percent in November to 118.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.
November’s increase in the LEI for the U.S. was widespread among the leading indicators and continues to suggest that the risk of an economic downturn in the near term has receded. Interest rate spread and housing permits made the largest contributions to the LEI this month, overcoming a falling average workweek in manufacturing, which reversed its October gain. The CEI also rose on improving employment and personal income although industrial production fell in November.
The LEI is pointing to continued growth this winter, possibly even gaining momentum by spring. For the second month in a row, building permits made a relatively strong contribution and there is a chance that the long decline in housing is finally slowing. However, this somewhat positive outlook for the domestic economy is at odds with a global economy that appears to be losing steam. In particular, a deeper-than-expected recession in Europe could easily derail the outlook for the U.S. economy.
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 103.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October and a 0.1 percent increase in September.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.1 percent in November to 110.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent increase in September.
Posted: December 22, 2011 Thursday 10:00 AM