Leading Economic Index For November Shows Continued Growth

The U.S. economy continued to strengthen in November, reports The Conference Board. Its Leading Economic Index (LEI) for November climbed 0.4 percent to 124.6. This result comes after a 0.6 percent increase in October and no change in September.

“The U.S. LEI registered another increase in November, with building permits, the interest rate spread and stock prices driving the improvement,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “Although the six-month growth rate of the LEI has moderated, the economic outlook for the final quarter of the year and into the new year remains positive.”

The monthly indexes published by the Conference Board—a global, independent business membership and research association—are elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The indexes are comprised of 10 components and 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 10 components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. 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.

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