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Economic Watch: Leading Indicators Lose Momentum in August

September 19, 2014

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Photo: Pen Waggner via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Pen Waggner via Wikimedia Commons

A measure of where the American economy is headed in the next three to six months improved again in August, according to a new report.

The Leading Economic Index, from the private research group The Conference Board, increased 0.2% in August to 103.8, following upwardly revised increases of 1.1% in July, and 0.7% in June.

“The LEI continued to rise in August, although at a slower rate than in July,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “The LEI’s six-month growth trend has been held back slightly by lackluster contributions from housing permits and new orders for nondefense capital orders. Despite concerns about investment picking up, the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace for the remainder of the year.”

The LEI is made up of 10 components including those representing economic performance in manufacturing, overall employment, building, stock prices, interest rates and consumer sentiment.

“The leading indicators point to an economy that is continuing to gain traction, but most likely won’t repeat its stellar second quarter performance in the second half,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “Meanwhile, the Coincident Economic Index, a measure of current economic activity, continued to expand through August, amid improving personal income, employment and retail sales. However, industrial production registered a slight decrease for the first time in seven months.”

 

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