Two More Green Shoots

The LEI and Chicago Fed reports yesterday showed (small) signs of a turn, says Asha Bangalore at Northern Trust. 

First, the LEI:

The Conference Board’s Index of Leading Indicators (LEI) dropped -0.3% in March 2009, after a
revised 0.2% decline during February.  The LEI posted the last increase in June 2008.  On a year-
to-year basis, the quarterly average of the LEI fell 3.8% after a 4.0% decline in the fourth quarter. 
The LEI appears to have established a bottom in the fourth quarter of 2008. 

Second, the Chicago Fed:

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was -2.96 in March vs. -2.82 in February. 
The 3-month moving average of the index provides a more consistent picture of national activity. 
In March, the 3-month moving average increased to -3.27 from -3.57 in February.  A bottom of the 3-month moving average of the CFNAI is associated with the likely end of a recession, most of the time.  We will be tracking this information to get a heads up about the economy.

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