The composite index of leading economic indicators fell 0.3% in March, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

The LEI decreased a revised 0.2% in February, originally reported as a 0.4% drop.

The coincident index slid 0.4% after a revised 0.6% drop in February, originally reported as a 0.4% decrease, while the lagging index fell 0.4% after a 0.3% decline in February, originally reported as a 0.4% decrease.

The LEI stands at 98.1, the coincident index is 101.5, and the lagging index is at 113.3.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be down 0.2% in the month.

“The recession may continue through the summer, but the intensity will ease,” said board economist Ken Goldstein. “Financial market volatility remains strong, and the credit market freeze is relenting very slowly. There have been some intermittent signs of improvement in the economy in April, but the leading economic index and most of its components are still pointing down.”

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