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Conference Board Leading Economic Index Increases in January

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in January, following no change in December, and a 0.9 percent increase in November. The coincident economic index (CEI) increased 0.1 percent and the lagging economic index (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in January.

“The U.S. Leading Economic Index continues to fluctuate on a monthly basis, but the six-month average growth rate has been relatively stable in recent months,  which suggests that the economy will remain resilient in the first half of 2014 and underlying economic conditions should continue to improve,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “Correspondingly, the U.S. Coincident Economic Index, which measures current conditions, has continued rising steadily.”

The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. now stands at 99.5 (2004=100). This month’s gain was mostly driven by the expanding economy, partially offset by severe weather throughout the country. In the six-month period ending January 2014, the leading economic index increased 3.1 percent.

The CEI for the U.S., measure of current economic activity, increased to 108.1 (2004=100). The index rose 1.3 percent between July 2013 and January 2014.

The lagging economic index for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent to 121.6 (2004=100).

“The increase in the Leading Economic Index reflects an economy that is expanding moderately, although the pace is somewhat held back by persistent and severe inclement weather in most parts of the country,” said Economist Ken Goldstein. “If the economy is going to move on to a faster track in 2014 compared to last year, consumer demand and especially investment will need to pick up significantly from their current trends."

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