February 19, 2009

Leading indicator rose in January

The U.S. leading economic index rose in January for the second month in a row, The Conference Board, an economic research group, said Thursday.

The index measuring future economic conditions rose 0.4 percent but The Conference Board revised November and December figures downward, citing fresh data on manufacturer's new orders.

Between July 2008 and January 2009, the Leading Economic Index has fallen 1.9 percent, the February report said.

The index rose in January with a positive contribution in real money supply, compliments of the government pumping money into the banking system. Consumer expectations and new manufacturers' orders for non-defense goods also rose.

On the negative side, first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose, while building permits, average weekly manufacturing hours and stock prices all fell.

The coincident index, measuring current conditions, fell 0.5 percent, with declines in industrial production and non-agricultural payrolls.