Leading Indicators Continued to Rise in September

More

The U.S. economy should continue to expand slowly in coming months, according to the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index. It rose in September for the third month straight, by 0.3%. In July and August the index increased by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Looking at the LEI's components more deeply is revealing.

But before that, here's the overall chart:

lei 2010-09.png

You can see that the LEI (Leading Economic Index) hit a new high in September. Although it isn't rising as aggressively as it was last year, it continues to slowly climb.

There might be some cause for concern about the mix of how the LEI components are faring, however. The worst influence came from supplier deliveries, which pulled down the net index value by 0.31%. Next worse was building permits, which subtracted 0.15%. Together, those indicate firms aren't sensing much consumer demand and the new construction market continues to struggle. These will factors may continue to constrain job growth.

On the positive side, however, unemployment claims saw a big reversal in September compared to August. Last month, the measure added 0.21% to the LEI, while it subtracted 0.19% in August. But the biggest positive factor continues to come from interest rates, which increased the LEI by 0.26%. The money supply also added 0.18% to the index. This is a little disappointing, because it means that .44% of the LEI was mostly due to Federal Reserve policy, rather than actual private sector progress. And without that influence, the LEI would have declined by 0.2% overall.

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)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In