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Released: Friday, March 17, 2017

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in February
Index at Highest Level in Over a Decade

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.6 percent in February to 126.2 (2010 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in January, and a 0.6 percent increase in December.

“After six consecutive monthly gains, the U.S. LEI is at its highest level in over a decade. Widespread gains across a majority of the leading indicators points to an improving economic outlook for 2017, although GDP growth is likely to remain moderate,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “Only housing permits contributed negatively to the LEI in February, reversing gains over the previous two months.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in February to 114.9 (2010 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in January, and a 0.4 percent increase in December.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in February to 123.5 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in January, and a 0.3 percent increase in December.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing
Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance
Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials
ISM® Index of New Orders 
Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
Building permits, new private housing units
Stock prices, 500 common stocks
Leading Credit Index
Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
Average consumer expectations for business conditions

For full press release and technical notes:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

 

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membershipand research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizationswith the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

The next release is scheduled for Thursday, April 20 at 10 A.M. ET.

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Jonathan Liu:
1 212 339 0257
jonathan.liu@conference-board.org

All data contained herein are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and/or The Conference Board’s Terms of Use. Except as expressly permitted by The Conference Board or applicable law, the data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, republished, or reposted by any means.

Download related PDFs

Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

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StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2017: Uncertainty and Global Growth Make Strange Bedfellows

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Today’s report of 235,000 jobs created in February removes the final barrier to a March rate increase by the Federal Reserve and could pave the way for two additional hikes later in the year.

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