Strategic Briefing | 4.20.12 | Conference Board’s Leading Indicator Rises In March

US Leading Economic Indicator Increases
Conference Board | Apr 19
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in March to 95.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.7 percent increase in February, and a 0.2 percent increase in January. Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The LEI increased for the sixth consecutive month, pointing to a more positive outlook despite subdued consumer expectations and weakness in manufacturing new orders. Moreover, the six-month growth rate of the LEI continues to improve. The CEI, a measure of current economic conditions, has also increased in five of the last six months, with broad based gains in all components.”

U.S. Leading Indicator Gain Moderates
Tom Moeller (Haver Analytics) | Apr 19
The Leading Economic Indicator index from the Conference Board rose 0.3% last month after an unrevised 0.7% gain during February. A 0.2% increase had been expected. Last month a robust 70% of the series’ components rose. That compares favorably to last September’s low of 25%. A steeper interest rate yield curve, more building permits and higher stock prices had the largest effects raising the overall leading index. The separate Leading Credit Index slipped for the third straight month and indicated tighter conditions versus the easy state of last summer and fall.
Index of Leading Economic Indicators in the U.S. Climbed 0.3%
Bloomberg | Apr 19
The index of U.S. leading indicators rose for a sixth month in March, indicating the world’s largest economy will maintain its expansion…. “The momentum is holding up,” Carl Riccadonna, a senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Job creation and income growth are positives for economic growth.”
U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises For Sixth Straight Month In March
RTT News | Apr 19
Pointing to a more positive outlook, the Conference Board’s leading economic index for the U.S. increased for the sixth consecutive month in March, according to a report released on Thursday.
U.S. growth seen improving as leading index rises
MarketWatch | Apr 19
Among the 10 indicators that make up the LEI, seven made positive contributions in March: the interest rate spread, building permits, stock prices, a credit index, jobless claims, manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials, and manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft. Negative contributions came from weekly manufacturing hours, consumer expectations and the ISM new orders index. “The rise in financial indicators, for example, equity prices and the credit spread, suggest that the financial half of the economy has made its repairs and is moving forward,” Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a research note.
United States: Conference Board Leading Indicators
Adam Goldin ( | Apr 19
The Conference Board index of leading indicators rose 0.3% in March after increasing 0.7% in February. This marks the sixth consecutive monthly gain. The results were slightly above consensus expectations and indicate that growth will continue through the first half of 2012. The interest rate spread and building permits were the largest contributors to the gain, while the main drag came from the average workweek, which had risen or remained unchanged the previous six months. The coincident index rose for the fourth consecutive month, increasing 0.2% in March.
Leading Indicators: Signs of Continued Moderate Growth
John E. Silvia (Wells Fargo) | Apr 19
The March index of leading economic indicators pointed to a continued moderate pace of economic growth…. The index improved 0.3 percent, led by gains in financial indicators, while consumer numbers were weak. The rise in financial indicators, for example, equity prices and the credit spread, suggest that the financial half of the economy has made its repairs and is moving forward. There were also positive contributions from building permits and new orders. On the downside, the labor market—average weekly manufacturing hours—and consumer expectations reduced the gain in the leading index