The composite index of Leading Economic Indicators slid 0.1% in August following a revised 0.5% rise in July, originally reported as a 0.4% increase, the Conference Board reported Thursday.
The coincident index grew 0.1% in August after an unrevised 0.3% gain in July, while the lagging index rose 0.2% after a revised 0.3% climb in July, initially reported as a 0.4% rise.
The LEI stands at 95.7, the coincident index is at 104.7 and the lagging index is at 116.5 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2004.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be down 0.1% in the month.
"The economy continues to be buffeted by strong headwinds domestically and internationally," said the Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. "As a result, the pace of growth is unlikely to change much in the coming months. Weak domestic demand continues to be a major drag on the economy."
"The U.S. LEI has decline in three of the last six months," said the Conference Board Economist Ataman Ozyildirim. "While its six-month growth rate has slowed substantially, it still remains in growth territory due to positive contributions from the financial components including stock prices, yield spread and the leading credit index. Over the last several months, the U.S. LEI seems to be fluctuating around a flat trend, while strengths and weaknesses among its components remain balanced. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index , a measure of current economic activity, edged up in August. The strengths among the coincident indicators have become less widespread, with three of four components advancing over the past six months."
Four of the 10 indicators that comprise the LEI rose in August: interest rate spread, stock prices, manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, and Leading Credit Index (inverted). ISM new orders index, average consumer expectations for business conditions, average weekly manufacturing hours, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), building permits, and manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials were negative.
The coincident index saw manufacturing and trade sales, personal income less transfer payments, and employees on nonagricultural payrolls rise in the month. Industrial production was negative.
The lagging index saw positives from change in CPI for services, commercial and industrial loans outstanding, and the ratio of manufacturing and trade inventories to sales. Average duration of unemployment (inverted), change in index of labor cost per unit of output, manufacturing, and ratio of consumer installment credit outstanding to personal income were negative. Average prime rate charged by banks was flat in the month.