Economic Watch: Leading Indicators Post Solid Gain

July 23, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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A measure of where the American economy is headed in the next three to six months increased again, according to figures released on Thursday.

The private research group The Conference Board and its Leading Economic Index advanced 0.6% in June for a reading of 123, following an upwardly revised 0.8% increase in May from an earlier 0.7% improvement and a 0.6% gain in April.

The latest figure was better than a consensus estimate from a group of economists polled by Reuters, who were expected a 0.2% increase for June.

“The upward trend in the U.S. LEI seems to be gaining more momentum, with another large increase in June pointing to continued strength in the economic outlook for the remainder of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “Housing permits and the interest rate spread drove the latest gain in the LEI, while labor market indicators such as average workweek and initial claims remained unchanged."

The index is made up of 10 components, including stock prices, manufacturing levels, home construction and other items.

The group’s Coincident Economic Index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.2% in June to 112.5, following a 0.2% rise in May, and a 0.3% gain in April.

The Lagging Economic Index, which measures U.S. economic activity of previous months, increased 0.7% in June to 117.6, following a 0.1% increase in May, and a 0.2% hike in April.


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