April leading economic index up, but won’t accelerate

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The composite of the Leading Economic Index was up 0.4% in April following an upwardly revised 0.4% increase in March, first reported as a 0.3% rise, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The coincident index gained 0.3% in April after an unrevised 0.2% rise in March, while the lagging index grew 0.3% in April, after a revised 0.1% decrease in March, first reported as a 0.1% increase.

The LEI stands at 109.4, the coincident index is at 103.5 and the lagging index is at 104.7 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2016.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted LEI would be up 0.4% in the month.

“April’s increase and continued uptrend in the U.S. LEI suggest solid growth should continue in the second half of 2018. However, the LEI’s six-month growth rate has recently moderated somewhat, suggesting growth is unlikely to strongly accelerate,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “In April, stock prices and housing permits were the only negative contributors, whereas the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March, improved.”

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Economic indicators