Conference Board Leading Economic Index; January 2020

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in January
Economic Expansion Will Continue Through First Half of 2020

NEW YORK, February 20, 2020…The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in January to 112.1 (2016 = 100), following a 0.3 percent decline in December and a 0.1 percent increase in November.

“The strong pickup in the January US LEI was driven by a sharp drop in initial unemployment insurance claims, increasing housing permits, consumers’ outlook on the economy and financial indicators,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “The LEI’s six-month growth rate has returned to positive territory, suggesting that the current economic expansion – at about 2 percent – will continue through early 2020. While weakness in manufacturing appears to show signs of softening, the COVID-19 outbreak may impact manufacturing supply chains in the US in the coming months.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in January to 107.3 (2016 = 100), following no change in December, and a 0.4 percent increase in November.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. was unchanged in January at 108.7 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent decline in December, and a 0.3 percent increase in November.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.
The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing
Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance
Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials
ISM® Index of New Orders
Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
Building permits, new private housing units
Stock prices, 500 common stocks
Leading Credit Index™
Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
Average consumer expectations for business conditions

About TARR Report

S.M.A. Publications was formed in 1997 with a mission of providing real estate information for practitioners within the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. The company produces the T.A.R.R. Reports which are published monthly, quarterly and annually, covering all aspects of the residential real estate market. The publisher, Stacey P. Anfindsen, has over 23 years of residential experience in the Triangle market. He is an active real estate appraiser, educator and consultant.
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