U.S. November Leading Economic Indicators (Text)

Following is the text of the U.S. leading economic indicators from the Conference Board.

Next month’s release will incorporate annual benchmark revisions to the composite indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data. The revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 1.1 percent in November to 112.4 (2004=100), following a 0.4 percent increase in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “November’s sharp increase in the LEI, the fifth consecutive gain, is an early sign that the expansion is gaining momentum and spreading. Nearly all components rose in November. Continuing strength in financial indicators is now joined by gains in manufacturing and consumer expectations, but housing remains weak.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. economy is showing some sparks of life in late 2010. Overall, the indicators point to a mild pickup after a slow winter. Looking further out, possible clouds on the medium term horizon include weaknesses in housing and employment.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in November to 101.7 (2004=100), following a 0.2 percent increase in October, and a 0.1 percent decline in September. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index declined 0.1 percent in November to 108.6 (2004=100), following no change in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index 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

Index of supplier deliveries - vendor performance

Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods

Building permits, new private housing units

Stock prices, 500 common stocks

Money supply, M2

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

Index of consumer expectations

SOURCE: The Conference Board

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