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Global Business Cycle Indicators

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Released: Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Declined Slightly

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. declined 0.1 percent in October to 111.7 (2016 = 100), following a 0.2 percent decline in both September and August.

“The US LEI declined for a third consecutive month, and its six-month growth rate turned negative for the first time since May 2016. The decline was driven by weaknesses in new orders for manufacturing, average weekly hours, and unemployment insurance claims,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “The major difference this month is the softening in the labor market, whereas conditions in manufacturing remain weak and show no signs of improvement yet. Taken together, the LEI suggests that the economy will end the year on a weak note, at just below 2 percent growth.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. was unchanged in October, remaining at 106.5 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in September, and a 0.3 percent increase in August.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in October to 108.1 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in September, and a 0.6 percent decline in August.

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 leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing

Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance

Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials

ISM® Index of New Orders

Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

Building permits, new private housing units

Stock prices, 500 common stocks

Leading Credit Index™

Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds

Average consumer expectations for business conditions

For full press release and technical notes:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

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. www.conference-board.org.

The next release is scheduled for Thursday, December 19 at 10 A.M. ET.

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Joseph DiBlasi:
1 781 308 7935
joseph.diblasi@conference-board.org

All data contained herein are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and/or The Conference Board’s Terms of Use. Except as expressly permitted by The Conference Board or applicable law, the data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, republished, or reposted by any means.

Download related PDFs

Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

Straight Talk October 2019

StraightTalk®Global Economic Outlook 2020: Stagnating Growth and Stalling Globalization: What's Ahead?

Strong Jobs Report Bodes Well for Solid Holiday Spending and Start to 2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in November, and the numbers for September and October were revised up. While today’s gain was inflated by the return of the GM strikers to work, the job gain was still much stronger than expected. Today’s job report, more than any other report in recent months, squashed any lingering concerns about an imminent recession in the US economy. Employment growth also shows no signs of slowing further despite the historically low unemployment rate.

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