The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in January, following a 1.2 percent gain in December, and a 1.1 percent rise in November, according to a February 18th report.
"The U.S. LEI has risen steadily for nearly a year, led by an improvement in financial markets and a manufacturing upturn. Consumer expectations and housing permits have also contributed to these gains over this period, but to a lesser extent - especially in recent months. Current economic conditions, as measured by The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI), have also improved modestly since July 2009, helped by strengthening industrial production, despite continued weakness in employment," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board.
Adds Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board, "The cumulative change in the U.S. LEI over the past six months has been a strong 9.8 percent, annualized. This signals continued economic recovery at least through the spring."