The composite index of leading economic indicators surged 1.0% in April, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

LEI decreased a revised 0.2% in March, originally reported as a 0.3% drop.

The coincident index slid 0.2% after a revised 0.6% drop in March, originally reported as a 0.4% decrease, while the lagging index fell 0.5% after a 0.5% decline in March, originally reported as a 0.4% decrease.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be up 0.8% in the month.

“The leading indicators suggest that while the recession will continue in the near-term, the decline will be less intense,” according to the board economist Ken Goldstein. “The question is how long before declines in activity give way to small increases. If the indicators continue on the current track, that point might be reached in the second half of the year.”

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