September 21, 2009

Leading indicator rose in August

The U.S. leading economic index rose for the fifth consecutive month in August, The Conference Board, an economic research group, said Monday.

The index rose 0.6 percent, following an 0.9 percent gain in July and an 0.8 percent rise in June, the Conference Board said.

The upward swing started in April following a 20-month downturn that was the longest slide since the mid 1970s.

It has been rising since April and its gains have become very widespread, said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.

In August, the coincident index, measuring current conditions, stopped falling.

Taken together, this suggests that the recession is bottoming out. These numbers are consistent with the view that after a very severe downturn, a recovery is very near. But the intensity and pattern of that recovery is more uncertain, said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein.