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Economic Watch: Leading Indicators Increase at Slower Pace

February 19, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Photo: Revisorweb via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo: Revisorweb via Wikimedia Commons.

A measure of where the American economy is headed three to six months down the road registered another monthly increase but the pace was slower than in recent months.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.2% in January to 121.1 following a 0.4% gain in December, downwardly revised from an earlier reported 0.5% increase, and a 0.3% improvement in November.

The January gain was less than many economists were expecting.

“While the LEI suggests a positive short-term outlook in 2015, the lack of strong momentum in residential construction, along with a weak outlook for new orders in manufacturing, poses a downside risk for the U.S. economy,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the private research group.

Five of the 10 indicators making up the index showed gains in January.

The Conference Board’s Coincident Economic Index, which measures current economic activity for the U.S., increased 0.2% in January to 111.6, following a 0.2% hike in December and a 0.5% jump in November.

Its Lagging Economic Index for the U.S., which measures U.S. economic activity of previous months, increased 0.3% in January to 115.3 following a 0.3% addition in December, and a 0.3% hike in November.

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