U.S. Economy Expected To Generate Moderate Growth
The U.S. economy should continue to expand at a moderate rate into 2017. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.2 percent in September to 124.4. September’s performance follows a 0.2 percent decline in August and a 0.5 percent increase in July.
“The U.S. LEI increased in September, reversing its August decline, which together with the pickup in the six-month growth rate suggests that the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace through early 2017,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “Housing permits, unemployment insurance claims and the interest rate spread were the main components lifting the index in September. Overall, the strengths among the leading indicators are outweighing modest weaknesses in stock prices and the average workweek.”
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 measure 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. are: 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.