U.S. Economic Indicators Rise for Third Consecutive Month

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August 19 - The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. rose 0.5% in July to 115.8, but with some evidence of a weakening economy. The July rise follows a 0.3% increase in June and a 0.7% increase in May.

The largest positive contributions to the Index came from money supply, the interest rate spread and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance, which declined, The Conference Board states.

"The U.S. LEI continued to increase in July,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Conference Board economist. “However, with the exception of the money supply and interest rate components, other leading indicators show greater weakness – consistent with increasing concerns about the health of the economic expansion. Despite rising volatility, the leading indicators still suggest economic activity should be slowly expanding through the end of the year."

Both The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) and Lagging Economic Index (LAG) also rose in July. The U.S. (CEI) increased 0.3% to 103.3, following increases of 0.1% in both May and June.

The (LAG) increased 0.2% in July to 110.0, following increases of 0.4% in both May and June.

“The economy is slow, with little momentum, and shows no indication of acceleration,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. However, “Despite these growing risks, the economy should continue to expand at a modest pace through the fall," he added.