The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.9 percent in July to 103.3, following a 0.6 percent increase in June and a 0.6 percent increase in May. The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) and the Conference Board Lagging Economic Index (LAG) increased 0.2 percent.
“The LEI improved sharply in July, suggesting that the economy is gaining traction and growth should continue at a strong pace for the remainder of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “Although housing has been one of the weakest components this year, the sharp gain in building permits helped boost the LEI in July. Financial markets and labor market conditions have also supported recent gains, but business spending indicators remain soft and their contribution marginal.”
“The pace of economic activity remained reasonably strong in July,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “Although retail sales were a little disappointing, hiring and industrial activity improved. July’s increase in the LEI, coupled with its accelerating growth trend, points to stronger economic growth over the coming months.”