Leading, Current, Lagging Economic Indicators Fell in November Conference Board Reports

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The index of U.S. leading economic indicators and the index of current indicators both fell again in November, according to The Conference Board, a business research organization.

The index of leading indicators fell 0.4% in November and the coincident index dropped 0.3%. However, the lagging indicators index increased 0.1% last month.

The leading index fell largely because of sharp declines in building permits, stock prices and initial unemployment claims, The Conference Board reported. The decline was moderated by, "continued positive contributions from real money supply and the yield spread."

The downward movement in the coincident index was driven by a, "very large contraction in employment and a smaller drop in industrial production," according to the Board. Weaknesses among the indicators in both indexes remains "widespread," added the report.

"The leading and coincident indexes have fallen for more than a year now, and the breadth of their deterioration has been very widespread," the report stated. The rates of declines of both indexes has also accelerated in recent months and are now the largest since 1991.

In addition, real gross domestic product (GDP) shrank at an annual rate of 0.5% in the third quarter, down from a 1.8% annual growth rate in the first half of the year.

"All in all, the continued widespread deterioration in the composite indexes suggests that the 45ecession that began in December 2007 will continue into the new year and the contraction in economic activity could deepen further in the near term," the group concluded.

For more information on this and other economic reports, visit www.conference-board.org.