May leading economic index up, economy likely stable

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The composite of the Leading Economic Index was up 0.2% in May following an unrevised 0.4% increase in April, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The coincident index gained 0.2% in May after a downwardly revised 0.2% rise in April, first reported as a 0.3% increase, while the lagging index grew 0.5% in May, after a revised 0.4% increase in April, first reported as a 0.3% increase.

The LEI stands at 109.5, the coincident index is at 103.7 and the lagging index is at 105.2 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2016.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted LEI would be up 0.4% in the month.

“While May’s increase in the U.S. LEI was slower than in recent months, the improvements in a majority of its components offset the declines in leading indicators of labor markets and residential construction,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The U.S. LEI still points to solid growth but the current trend, which is moderating, indicates that economic activity is not likely to accelerate.”

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Economic indicators