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Index for Future U.S. Economic Activity Falls Slightly

April 18, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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The latest read on where the U.S. economy is heading suggests activity will slow a bit in the coming months.

The private group The Conference Board said its Index of Leading Economic Indicators unexpectedly fell in March following three straight monthly gains. This gauge, used to measure the outlook of the economy over the next three to six months, declined 0.1% following a 0.5% increase in both February and January.

The group says the leading indicator still points to a continuing but slow growth environment. Weakness in consumer expectations and housing permits was offset by the positive interest rate spread and other financial components.

Meanwhile, the coincident economic index, a measure of current conditions, is down since December due to a large decline in personal income.

“Data for March reflect an economy that has lost some steam,” says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “In addition to headwinds from government spending cuts, the private sector economy may struggle to maintain its momentum. The biggest challenge remains weak demand, due to nervous consumer sentiment and slow income growth.”

Comments

  1. 1. Ed Mateer [ April 19, 2013 @ 06:14AM ]

    I know Ken Goldstein is an intelligent person to be in the position that pays for his opinion. Looks like to me, and I don't study as hard as Ken, but federal spending cuts have little impact on regular folks spending their hard earned dollars. More of an impact is the increase in taxes that started Jan 1st this year which leads to uncertainty and to consumer "No Confidence".

 

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