The composite index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.6% in September following a revised 0.4% drop in August, originally reported as a 0.1% decrease, the Conference Board reported Thursday.
The coincident index grew 0.2% in September after a revised flat reading in August, originally reported as a 0.1% gain, while the lagging index rose 0.1% after a revised 0.3% climb in August, initially reported as a 0.2% rise.
The LEI stands at 95.9, the coincident index is at 105.1 and the lagging index is at 116.8 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2004.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be up 0.2% in the month.
"The single biggest challenge remains weak demand, domestically and globally," said the Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. "The struggle to regain firmer ground - in financial markets, international trade and global industrial output - continues because of weak consumer demand and a lack of more robust business investment."
"The U.S. LEI increased in September, more than offsetting the decline in August," said the Conference Board Economist Ataman Ozyildirim. "The LEI has been signaling an economy that is fluctuating around a slow growth trend. The six-month growth rate has slowed substantially, but still remains in growth territory due to positive contributions from the housing and financial components. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index also increased in September."
Six of the 10 indicators that comprise the LEI rose in September: building permits, interest rate spread, stock prices, Leading Credit Index (inverted), manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials, and manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft. ISM new orders index, average consumer expectations for business conditions, and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted) were negative. Average weekly manufacturing hours were unchanged.
The coincident index saw manufacturing and trade sales, industrial production, employees on nonagricultural payrolls, and personal income less transfer payments all rise in the month.
The lagging index saw positives from change in CPI for services and ratio of consumer installment credit outstanding to personal income. Commercial and industrial loans outstanding, average duration of unemployment (inverted) and change in index of labor cost per unit of output, manufacturing, were negative. The ratio of manufacturing and trade inventories to sales and average prime rate charged by banks were flat in the month.