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Economy in Brief

U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Index Firms
by Tom Moeller  November 20, 2014

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators from the Conference Board increased 0.9% last month (6.8% y/y) following a 0.7% September rise, revised from 0.8%. The index level was the highest since July 2007. Eighty five percent of the component series improved m/m. A steeper interest rate yield curve, fewer initial claims for jobless insurance, an improved ISM New Orders index, the leading credit index and more building permits led the way upward.

The index of coincident indicators ticked 0.1% higher (2.5% y/y) following a 0.3% increase. The gain was driven by personal income less transfers but employment, industrial production and business sales each fell.

The lagging indicators index slipped 0.1% (+3.5% y/y). The y/y rise slowed sharply to the weakest since February. A shortened average duration of unemployment and fewer C&I loans outstanding lessened last month's increase.

The index of coincident-to-lagging indicators is a measure of how the economy is performing versus its excesses. It improved last month for the third time in the last four months.

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 (%) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Leading 0.9 0.7 0.0 6.8 3.5 2.2 5.3
Coincident 0.1 0.3 0.1 2.5 1.9 2.3 2.6
Lagging -0.1 0.1 0.5 3.3 3.8 3.4 2.3
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