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Economy in Brief

U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Are Unchanged
by Tom Moeller  July 18, 2013

The index of Leading Economic Indicators, published by the Conference Board, was unchanged last month (2.8% y/y). The figure followed a 0.2% May uptick, last month reported as 0.1%. A 0.3% rise had been expected for June. A stable 55% of the component series had a positive influence on the index. A steeper interest rate yield curve and the leading credit index had the largest positive influences on the total. These were offset by fewer building permits and a lower ISM new orders index.

The index of coincident indicators gained 0.2% (1.8% y/y) for the third straight month. Each of the component series - payroll employment, personal income less transfers, manufacturing & trade sales and industrial production - increased.

The index of lagging economic indicators rose 0.3% (3.4% y/y) after a minimal 0.4% May rise. These increases suggest economic excesses are building. A longer duration of unemployment and a higher consumer installment/income ratio paced last month's increase.

Another leading economic series is the ratio of coincident-to-lagging indicators. It measures how the economy is performing versus its excesses. The figure was unchanged last month (-1.5% y/y) at its lowest level of the economic expansion.

The Conference Board figures are available in Haver's BCI database; the components are available there, and most are also in USECON. The forecast figures for the Consensus are in the AS1REPNA database. Visit the Conference Board's site for coverage of leading indicator series from around the world. 

Business Cycle Indicators (%) Jun May Apr Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Leading 0.0 0.2 0.8 2.8 2.0 5.1 8.0
Coincident 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.8 2.1 2.4 1.2
Lagging 0.3 0.4 0.2 3.4 3.6 2.7 -3.1
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