November 2018 Leading Economic Index Economic Improved Slightly

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S slightly improved this month - and the authors say " Despite the recent volatility in stock prices, the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread. Solid GDP growth at about 2.8 percent should continue in early 2019, but the LEI suggests the economy is likely to moderate further in the second half of 2019".

Analyst Opinion of the Leading Economic Index

Because of the significant backward revisions, I do not trust this index.

This index is designed to forecast the economy six months in advance. The market (from Econoday) expected this index's month-over-month change at +0.0 % to 0.1 % (consensus 0.0 %) versus the +0.2 % reported.

ECRI's Weekly Leading Index (WLI) is forecasting no growth or a slight contraction over the next six months.

Additional comments from the economists at The Conference Board add context to the index's behavior.

Next month's release will incorporate annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm or contact us at indicators@conference-board.org

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for theU.S. increased 0.2 percent in November to 111.8 (2016 = 100), following a 0.3 percent decline in October, and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

"The LEI increased slightly in November, but its overall pace of improvement has slowed in the last two months," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. "Despite the recent volatility in stock prices, the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread. Solid GDP growth at about 2.8 percent should continue in early 2019, but the LEI suggests the economy is likely to moderate further in the second half of 2019."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in November to 104.9 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in October, and a 0.2 percent increase in September.

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