Leading Indicators Predict Slow Recovery

More

At this point, pretty much no one is expecting a strong, steep economic recovery. The sort of best-case scenario would be a slow recovery, while the worst-case scenario would be a double dip recession. In that context, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Index for July is somewhat good news: it implies a slow expansion through the rest of 2010.

The index was essentially flat in July, growing by just 0.1%. That followed a 0.3% decline in June and a 0.5% rise in May. Here's the chart:

leading indicators 2010-07.png

You can see that the index is clearly settling between 109 and 110, as it has been in that range since early 2010. Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says that this points to a slow recovery through the end of the year:

"With inventory rebuilding moderating, the industrial core of the economy has moved to a slower pace. There appears to be no change in the pace of the service sector. Combined, the result is a weak economy with little forward momentum. However, the good news is that the data do not point to a recession."

So things aren't getting a lot better, but at least they also aren't getting worse. Unfortunately, it looks like that's about as good as we can hope for at this point.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In