Economy Rebounds In October

The U.S. economy experienced another small uptick in October, according to recent results from The Conference Board. The board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) last month showed a 1.2 percent increase in October to 130.4, pointing toward solid growth into 2018. October’s results follow a 0.1 percent increase in September and a 0.4 percent increase in August, reflecting the impact of the hurricanes earlier this year.

“The growth of the LEI, coupled with widespread strengths among its components, suggests that solid growth in the U.S. economy will continue through the holiday season and into the new year,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board.

The LEI is comprised of 10 components and is 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 10 components of the U.S. LEI include: average weekly hours for manufacturing; average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance; manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials; the ISM Index of New Orders; manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders; building permits for new private housing units; stock prices of 500 common stocks; the Leading Credit Index; interest rate spread of 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds; and average consumer expectations for business conditions.

The Conference Board’s Coincident Economic Index increased 0.3 percent in October, and its Lagging Economic Index ticked up 0.2 percent that month. The Conference Board uses the Leading, Coincident and Lagging Indexes to identify peaks and troughs in the business cycle. They are composite averages of several individual leading, coincident or lagging indicators.

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