The Conference Board Leading Economic Index? (LEI) for the U.S. Continued to Fall in April

BY PR Newswire | ECONOMIC | 05/17/24 10:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK, May 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index? (LEI)?for the?U.S. decreased by 0.6 percent in April 2024 to 101.8 (2016=100), after decreasing by 0.3 percent in March. Over the six-month period between October 2023 and April 2024, the LEI contracted by 1.9 percent?a smaller decrease than its 3.5 percent decline over the previous six months.

(PRNewsfoto/The Conference Board)

"Another decline in the U.S. LEI confirms that softer economic conditions lay ahead," said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. "Deterioration in consumers' outlook on business conditions, weaker new orders, a negative yield spread, and a drop in new building permits fueled April's decline. In addition, stock prices contributed negatively for the first time since October of last year. While the LEI's six-month and annual growth rates no longer signal a forthcoming recession, they still point to serious headwinds to growth ahead. Indeed, elevated inflation, high interest rates, rising household debt, and depleted pandemic savings are all expected to continue weighing on the US economy in 2024. As a result, we project that real GDP growth will slow to under 1 percent over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index? (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2 percent in April 2024 to 112.3 (2016=100), after also increasing by 0.2 percent in March. As a result, the CEI was up 0.9 percent over the six-month period ending April 2024, slightly ahead of its 0.8 percent increase 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 improved last month. Personal income less transfer payments made the largest positive contribution to the Index.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index? (LAG) for the U.S. increased by 0.4 percent in April 2024 to 119.5 (2016=100), after remaining unchanged in March. The LAG was up by 1.1 percent over the six-month period from October 2023 and April 2024, a substantial improvement of a 0.3 percent increase over the previous six months.

Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes





2024




6-Month


February

March

April

Oct to Apr

? Leading Index

102.7


102.4


101.8

p



?Percent Change

0.2


-0.3


-0.6


-1.9


?Diffusion

70.0


40.0


45.0


40.0


? Coincident Index

111.9

r

112.1

r

112.3

p



?Percent Change

0.3

r

0.2

r

0.2


0.9


?Diffusion

75.0


100.0


87.5


100.0


? Lagging Index

119.0


119.0


119.5

p



?Percent Change

0.2

r

0.0


0.4


1.1


?Diffusion

42.9


42.9


64.3


50.0


?p Preliminary?? r Revised?? c Corrected

Source: ?The Conference Board

Indexes equal 100 in 2016




?

The next release is scheduled for Friday, June 21, 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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