The composite leading index increased 0.7% in January, following an identical gain in the previous month. This was the seventh consecutive increase in the index. The increase was concentrated in manufacturing, housing and services employment, and was offset by declines in durable goods sales and equity prices.
Out of the three manufacturing components, two increased. The ratio of shipments to inventories rose for the third straight month as sales strengthened and inventories were depleted, while the average workweek lengthened for the fourth month in a row. However, new orders for durable goods edged down after two monthly gains. Housing, money supply, and services employment components also increased. This was the 10th monthly increase in services employment.
Furniture and appliance sales fell; their fifth straight decline. Spending on other durable goods also declined after posting gains since May. The US leading indicator decreased for a second month in a row, while the equity prices were down for the eighth consecutive month.
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