NEW YORK, March 18, 2022…The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased by 0.3 percent in February to 119.9 (2016 = 100), following a 0.5 percent decrease in January and a 0.8 percent increase in December.
“The US LEI rose slightly in February, partially reversing January’s decline,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “However, the latest results do not reflect the full impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which could lower the trajectory for the US LEI and signal slower-than-anticipated economic growth in the first half of the year. The global economic impact of the war on supply chains and soaring energy, food, and metals prices—coupled with rising interest rates, existing labor shortages, and high inflation—all pose headwinds to US economic growth. While the Omicron wave and its economic impact waned in recent months, the potential for new COVID-19 variants remains. Amid these risks, The Conference Board revised its growth projection for the US economy down to 3.0 percent year-over-year GDP growth in 2022— still well above the pre-pandemic growth rate, which averaged around 2 percent.”