The U.S. leading economic index fell 0.6% in April, according to the nonprofit Conference Board. The index, which dropped 1.2% in March, has now declined for 13 consecutive months, indicating that the U.S. economy continues to inch toward a potential recession.
The leading economic index (LEI) provides an early indication of significant turning points in the business cycle and where the economy is heading in the near term, according to the Conference Board, which publishes the monthly LEI report. The Conference Board takes 10 economic indicators into account when calculating the LEI.
Eight of those 10 indicators fell in April, the Conference Board said.
The Coincident Economic Index (CEI), which measures current economic conditions, rose 0.3% in April. Meanwhile, the Lagging Economic Index — a look back at previous performance — decreased 0.1%.
The LEI is down 4.4% since October 2022, a steeper rate of decline than its 3.8% contraction between April 2022 and October 2022, according to the Conference Board.
“Only stock prices and manufacturers’ new orders for both capital and consumer goods improved in April,” Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager of Business Cycle Indicators at the Conference Board, said in the report. “Importantly, the LEI continues to warn of an economic downturn this year. The Conference Board forecasts a contraction of economic activity starting in Q2 leading to a mild recession by mid-2023.”