New York, April 21, 2022… The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased by 0.3 percent in March to 119.8 (2016 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in February. The LEI increased by 1.9 percent in the six-month period from September 2021 to March 2022.
“The US LEI rose again in March despite headwinds from the war in Ukraine,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “This broad-based improvement signals economic growth is likely to continue through 2022 despite volatile stock prices and weakening business and consumer expectations. The Conference Board projects 3.0 percent year-over-year US GDP growth in 2022, which is slower than the 5.6 percent pace of 2021, but still well above pre-covid trend. This rate also reflects a 0.5 ppt downgrade incorporated in our base case to include the effects of the war in Ukraine compared to before the war (3.5 percent). However, downside risks to the growth outlook remain, associated with intensification of supply chain disruptions and inflation linked to lingering pandemic shutdowns and the war, as well as with tightening monetary policy and persistent labor shortages.”