The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index climbed by 0.4 per cent in January to 94.9.
Economists were expecting an increase of 0.5 per cent.
Financial and credit indicators improved. However, the consumer outlook for the economy remains pessimistic.
From the Conference Board:
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4 per cent in January to 94.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 per cent increase in December and a 0.3 per cent increase in November.
Said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “This fourth consecutive gain in the LEI reflected fairly widespread strength among its components, pointing to somewhat more positive economic conditions in early 2012. The LEI’s increase in January was led not only by improving financial and credit indicators, but also rising average workweek in manufacturing. These both offset consumers’ outlook about the economy, which remained pessimistic, though slightly less so. Meanwhile, the CEI rose again in January as employment, income, and sales data all point to improving current economic conditions despite a lack of contribution from industrial production.”
Added Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “Recent data reflect an economy that started the year on a positive note. The CEI shows some small signs of economic strengthening in the fourth quarter and continued to point in this direction in January. The LEI suggests these conditions will continue and could possibly even pick up this spring and summer.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 per cent in January to 103.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 per cent increase in December and no change in November.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.4 per cent in January to 113.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 per cent increase in December and a 0.3 per cent increase in November.
Photo: Conference Board