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Conditions Are Improving, Not Deteriorating

By Matthew Kerkhoff


At least that’s what the latest update from The Conference Board says. Released yesterday, the figures for June suggest that not only is the US economy improving, but it will continue to do so.


The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) has a strong history of accurately predicting periods of weakness in the economy (see chart below). It accomplishes this by aggregating 10 leading indicators that generally turn first when an economic slowdown is approaching.



Last month, the LEI rose by 0.6%. Of the 10 indicators that comprise the index, 6 contributed positively, 3 were relatively unchanged, and 1 declined.


The factors contributing most to the rise were the interest rate spread, building permits, and consumer expectations for business conditions. Interestingly, stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, were the only component of the index to fall.


I’ve pointed this out many times, but make sure to notice in the chart above how the ... Log in or subscribe to continue reading.

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