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Economy in Brief

Leading Indicators Continued Uptrend
by Tom Moeller April 19, 2004

The Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators reported by the Conference Board rose an expected 0.3% in March. The gain followed no change in February.

The gain reflected increases in 60% of the component series but shorter delivery lead times, as measured by stronger vendor performance, had the largest positive contribution of 0.26%. Over a six-month span 70% of the leading series rose.

The Leading index is based on eight previously reported economic data series and two that are estimated.

The coincident indicators rose 0.2% and 75% of the component series were higher.

The ratio of coincident-to-lagging indicators rose 0.3% to another record level. The ratio is an indicator of excess relative to actual economic performance.

Visit the Conference Board's site for coverage of leading indicator series from around the world.

Business Cycle Indicators Mar Feb Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Leading 0.3% 0.0% 4.4% 1.3% 2.2% -0.8%
Coincident 0.2% 0.3% 1.9% 0.4% -0.5% -0.5%
Lagging -0.1% -0.1% -3.1% -2.2% -2.8% -1.4%
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