The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.9% in November, the eighth consecutive monthly increase. The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) also increased (0.2%), while the Lagging Economic Index (LAG) decreased 0.4%.
"The indicators point to a bright new year," says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. "The U.S. LEI increased for the eighth consecutive month. Looking ahead, we can expect a slowly improving economy through 2010. "
After having fallen steadily since mid-2007, the LEI is now slightly higher than its latest peak in July 2007. However, its six-month growth rate has slowed somewhat in recent months. Meanwhile, The CEI for the U.S. has been relatively flat since the second quarter of the year, after generally declining beginning in December 2007. All in all, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the recession is bottoming out and that economic conditions will continue to improve in the near term.
Six of the ten indicators that make up LEI for the U.S. increased in November. The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. now stands at 104.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in October and increased 1.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading economic index increased 4.7 percent, with eight out of ten components advancing.
For the CEI for the U.S., three of the four indicators increased in November. The Conference Board CEI for the U.S. now stands at 100.1 (2004=100). This index remained unchanged in October and decreased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident economic index remained unchanged, with two out of four components advancing.
The Conference Board LAG for the U.S. stands at 108.7 (2004=100) in November, with two of the seven components advancing. Based on revised data, the lagging economic index decreased 0.2 percent in October and decreased 0.5 percent in September.