Economic Index Points in Right Direction
May 17, 2001
The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.1% in April after three consecutive declines.
Indeed, the index fell nine of last twelve months, declining 1.3% over the year.
This is modestly good news for business shipments and freight. It is added evidence that the economy avoided a recession for another month. Stock prices and interest rates improved sharply enough to offset declines in all labor, consumer and manufacturing market measures.
The gain in the index should be seen as a promise of higher production, spending and employment ahead - but it has not yet happened. We know we are heading in the right direction, but there is no evidence yet of a sustained recovery in the economy. Maybe in May; more likely in June.