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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased for the third consecutive month in June, improving 0.7%. The six-month change in the index has risen to 2.0% (a 4.1% annual rate) in the period through June, up substantially from -3.1% (a -6.2% annual rate) for the previous six months, and the strengths among the leading indicators have remained balanced with the weaknesses in recent months. The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. now stands at 100.9 (2004=100).
The Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. continued to decrease in June amid further contractions in employment and industrial production, posting a negative 0.2%. Between December 2008 and June 2009, the index fell 3.0% (a -5.9% annual rate), slightly faster than the decline of 2.8% (a -5.6% annual rate) for the previous six months. The Conference Board CEI for the U.S. now stands at 100.3 (2004=100).
Two of the four indicators that make up The Conference Board CEI for the U.S. - personal income less transfer payments and manufacturing and trade sales - increased in June. Negative contributors were employees on nonagricultural payrolls and industrial production.
In June, the lagging economic index for the U.S. fell 0.7%, more than the coincident economic index, increasing the coincident-to-lagging ratio. The Conference Board LAG for the U.S. stands at 110.8 (2004=100) in June, with none of the seven components advancing. Meanwhile, real GDP fell at a 5.5% annual rate in the first quarter of 2009, following a contraction of 6.3% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the recession will continue to ease and that the economy may begin to recover in the near term.