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.