The Conference Board leading economic index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4 percent in April to 101.4, following a 1 percent increase in March, and a 0.5 percent increase in February. The coincident economic index (CEI) increased 0.1 percent and the lagging economic index (LAG) increased 0.2 percent in April.
“The LEI rose for the third consecutive month, driven largely by improving housing and financial market conditions,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “This latest report suggests the economy will continue to expand, and may even pick up steam through the second half of the year.”
The Conference Board LAG for the U.S. now stands at 123.3 (2004=100). The CEI for the U.S., a measure of current economic activity, increased to 108.5 (2004=100).
"Despite a brutal winter which brought the economy to a halt, the overall trend in the leading economic index has remained positive,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “If consumers continue to spend, and businesses pick up the pace of investment, the industrial core of the economy will benefit and GDP growth could move closer towards the 3 percent range.”