The Conference Board Leading Economic Index? (LEI) for the U.S. Inched Up in February

BY PR Newswire | ECONOMIC | 03/21/24 10:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index? (LEI)?for the?U.S. increased by 0.1 percent in February 2024 to 102.8 (2016=100), following a 0.4 percent decline in January. Over the six-month period between August 2023 and February 2024, the LEI contracted by 2.6 percent?a smaller decrease than the 3.8 percent decline over the previous six months.

(PRNewsfoto/The Conference Board)

"The U.S. LEI rose in February 2024 for the first time since February 2022," said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. "Strength in weekly hours worked in manufacturing, stock prices, the Leading Credit Index?, and residential construction drove the LEI's first monthly increase in two years. However, consumers' expectations and the ISM? Index of New Orders have yet to recover, and the six- and twelve-month growth rates of the LEI remain negative. Despite February's increase, the Index still suggests some headwinds to growth going forward. The Conference Board expects annualized US GDP growth to slow over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period, as rising consumer debt and elevated interest rates weigh on consumer spending."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index? (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2 percent in February 2024 to 112.3 (2016=100), after a 0.1 percent increase in January. The CEI rose 1.1 percent over the six-month period ending February 2024, up from 0.8 percent over the previous six months. The CEI's component indicators?payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing and trade sales, and industrial production?are included among the data used to determine recessions in the US. All four components of the index were positive last month, with personal income less transfer payments and payroll employment having the strongest contributions to the Index.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index? (LAG) for the U.S. rose by 0.3 percent in February 2024 to 118.8 (2016 = 100), after a 0.3 percent increase in January. The LAG is up by 0.8 percent over the six-month period from August 2023 to February 2024, after recording no growth over the previous six months.

Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes



2023


2024


6-Month


December

January

February

Aug to Feb

? Leading Index

103.1


102.7


102.8

p



?Percent Change

-0.2


-0.4


0.1


-2.6


?Diffusion

45.0


20.0


70.0


30.0


? Coincident Index

112.0

r

112.1


112.3

p



?Percent Change

0.3

r

0.1

r

0.2


1.1


?Diffusion

75.0


75.0


100.0


75.0


? Lagging Index

118.0

r

118.4

r

118.8

p



?Percent Change

-0.5

r

0.3

r

0.3


0.8


?Diffusion

21.4


50.0


64.3


21.4


?p Preliminary?? r Revised?? c Corrected

Source: ?The Conference Board

Indexes equal 100 in 2016




The next release is scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 10?A.M. ET.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index??(LEI) for the U.S.
The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The indexes are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning points in the economy in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component. The CEI is highly correlated with real GDP. The LEI is a predictive variable that anticipates (or "leads") turning points in the business cycle by around 7 months. Shaded areas denote recession periods or economic contractions. The dates above the shaded areas show the chronology of peaks and troughs in the business cycle.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index? for the U.S. include: Average weekly hours in manufacturing; Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance; Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials; ISM? Index of New Orders; Manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders; Building permits for new private housing units; S&P 500? Index of Stock Prices; Leading Credit Index?; Interest rate spread (10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds rate); Average consumer expectations for business conditions.

To access data, please visit: https://data-central.conference-board.org/

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers Trusted Insights for What's Ahead?. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. ConferenceBoard.org

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SOURCE The Conference Board

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