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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Declines

December 20, 2012

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.2 percent in November to 95.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in October, and a 0.4 percent increase in September.

“The U.S. LEI decreased slightly in November, bringing its six-month growth rate to zero,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “The LEI points to increasing risks of slowing economic activity in the near term, but the coincident economic index, measuring current conditions, continued to increase in November. Gains in the residential construction and financial components of the LEI have been roughly balanced with weak consumer expectations, manufacturing new orders and labor market indicators over the last six months.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The indicators reflect an economy that remains weak in the face of strong domestic and international headwinds, as it faces a looming fiscal cliff. Growth will likely be slow through the early months of 2013.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in November to 104.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in October, and a 0.2 percent increase in September.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.4 percent in November to 117.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in October, and no change in September.

                                       Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes
                                       -------------------------------------------
                                                 2012        6-month
                                           Sep                 Oct                 Nov        May to Nov

    Leading index                              95.7 r                96.0              95.8 p
      Percent Change                             .4 r                .3 r               -.2 p             0.0
      Diffusion                                  55.0                55.0                50.0            45.0

    Coincident
     Index                                    104.6 r             104.7 r             104.9 p
      Percent Change                               .2                  .1                .2 p             0.4
      Diffusion                                  87.5                50.0               100.0            87.5

    Lagging Index                             116.9 r             117.3 r             117.8 p
      Percent Change                             .0 r                  .3                .4 p             1.9
      Diffusion                                  42.9                64.3                71.4            64.3

    n.a. Not available    p Preliminary    r Revised
    Indexes equal 100 in 2004
    Source: The Conference Board

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They 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 ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index(®) for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing
Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance
Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials
ISM Index of New Orders
Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
Building permits, new private housing units
Stock prices, 500 common stocks
Leading Credit Index(TM)
Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
Average consumer expectations for business conditions

For full press release and technical notes:
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators:
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

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Source: PR Newswire