NEW YORK, February 22, 2021…The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.5 percent in January to 110.3 (2016 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in December and a 0.9 percent increase in November.
“While the pace of increase in the U.S. LEI has slowed since mid-2020, January’s gains were broad-based and suggest economic growth should improve gradually over the first half of 2021,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “As the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 accelerates, labor markets and overall growth are likely to continue improving through the rest of this year as well. The Conference Board now expects the U.S. economy to expand by 4.4 percent in 2021, after a 3.5 percent contraction in 2020.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in January to 103.3 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in December and no change in November.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. decreased 0.6 percent in January to 106.2 (2016 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in December and no change in November.
The next release is scheduled for Thursday, March 18 at 10 A.M. ET.
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