The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.6 percent in June to 123.6, following a 0.8 percent increase in May. The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) increased 0.2 percent to 112.5, and the Lagging Economic Index increased 0.7 percent to 117.6.
"The upward trend in the U.S. LEI seems to be gaining more momentum with another large increase in June pointing to continued strength in the economic outlook for the remainder of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director, business cycles and growth research, at The Conference Board. "Housing permits and the interest rate spread drove the latest gain in the LEI, while labor market indicators such as average workweek and initial claims remained unchanged."
In the six-month period ending June 2015, the LEI increased 2.1 percent (about a 4.3 percent annual rate), slower than its growth of 3.2 percent (about a 6.6 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators remain more widespread than the weaknesses. Six of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. increased in June.
The CEI, a measure of current economic activity, increased in June. The coincident economic index improved by 0.9 percent (about a 1.8 percent annual rate) between December 2014 and June 2015, much slower than its growth of 1.6 percent (about a 3.3 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. However, the strengths among the coincident indicators remain widespread.
The lagging economic index increased at a faster pace than the CEI. As a result, the coincident-to-lagging ratio declined in June. Real GDP declined by 0.2 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter, after expanding by 2.2 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of last year.