Aug. leading economic index up less than expected

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The composite of the Leading Economic Index was up 0.4% in August following a 0.7% gain in July, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The coincident index gained 0.2% in August after a 0.2% rise in July, while the lagging index grew 0.2% in August, after a 0.2% decrease in July.

The LEI stands at 111.2, the coincident index is at 104.3 and the lagging index is at 105.4. The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2016.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted LEI would be up 0.5% in the month.

“The leading indicators are consistent with a solid growth scenario in the second half of 2018 and at this stage of a maturing business cycle in the US, it doesn’t get much better than this,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The US LEI’s growth trend has moderated since the start of the year. Industrial companies that are more sensitive to the business cycle should be on the lookout for a possible moderation in economic growth in 2019. The strengths among the LEI’s components were very widespread, further supporting an outlook of above 3.0 percent growth for the remainder of 2018.”

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