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  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased 1.0 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in May.The leading index increased sharply in May following a slight gain in April. This increase was largely due to stock prices, real money supply, and consumer expectations, but most other components also increased slightly. It is possible that these two consecutive increases reflect the beginning of an upward trend, thereby ending the flat trend that began in early 2002.The strength in the leading indicators has become more widespread as shown by a pick-up in the diffusion indexes, which measure the proportion of the components that are rising. The one- and six-month diffusion indexes are now at or above fifty percent, up from lower levels earlier in the year. The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, increased modestly in May after holding steady in the previous two months. The coincident index remained essentially flat in the second quarter, but is likely to increase in the second half of the year reflecting the recent gains in the leading index.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased 0.1 percent, the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.5 percent in April.After declining in February and March, the leading index increased slightly in April. Since early 2002, the leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend. This is consistent with real GDP growth continuing to fluctuate around a 2% to 2.5% average annual rate.Despite rebounding financial indicators and consumer expectations, there is still weakness in the labor market and manufacturing indicators. Weakness in these components reflects the recent declines in manufacturing capacity utilization.The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, decreased in April after holding steady in March. The slight decline in the coincident indicators in April is consistent with the weakness in the leading index in the first quarter of 2003.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.2 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in March.The leading index declined for a second consecutive month in March, but the information available so far in April suggests that these declines will not continue. The leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend since December 2001.The flatness in the leading index suggests that U.S. real GDP growth will stay in the 2-3% range for now. As long as economic growth is constrained in this range, the labor market cannot improve.The coincident index has been essentially flat in recent months with gains in income and sales offset by weakness in employment and industrial production. With economic growth at or slightly below potential, the coincident index is unlikely to grow strongly.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.4 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in February.The leading index fell in February for the first time since September 2002. Uncertainty over war in Iraq, as well as severe winter weather in February, is reflected in the widespread weakness, particularly in stock prices, consumer expectations, and the labor market. Some of these weaknesses have persisted through March.More generally, the leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend over the past 15 months with a balance between rising and falling components. The index fell in the third quarter of 2002, rose in the fourth quarter, and is now declining again in the first quarter.After flattening in the fourth quarter of last year, the coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.2 in January and held that level in February (with a decline in employment offsetting the gains in income, production, and sales). At this point, the leading index is suggesting that economic growth may be on the sluggish side in the second quarter.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in January.A sharp drop in claims for unemployment insurance offset the weak expectations of consumers in January. The leading index remains well above its peak prior to the 2001 recession and just below the previous high achieved in May 2002.The coincident index turned up again in January after pausing in the last quarter of 2002. This month's increase in the coincident index, the largest in six months, is consistent with the gains in the leading index late last year and reflects better current conditions in the beginning of this year.Barring any shock or prolonged uncertainty in the Middle East, the leading and coincident indexes point to a more robust pace of economic activity in the coming months.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased 0.3 percent in December.After declining from May through September 2002, the leading index has now improved for three straight months, suggesting a stronger economic recovery in the first half of 2003.The negative contribution from unemployment insurance claims in December was more than offset by the positive contributions from housing permits, average manufacturing workweek, and consumer expectations. The leading index has almost regained its level in May 2002, or when it started to decline.The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, was flat in each of the last three months of 2002. But it\'s still 0.8 percent above its cyclical low reached in November 2001.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.7 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.2 percent in November.This month's gain in the leading index is the largest since December of last year. With this increase, the index has now recovered its losses since May 2002, and is nearly 3.6 percent above its most recent trough in March 2001.Strength in the financial sector - coupled with a rebound in consumer expectations and a decline in unemployment insurance claims - contributed to the increase in the leading index this month.The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased modestly in November. Despite this increase, the coincident index remains essentially flat since July 2002, reflecting a sluggish recovery from the last recession.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading, coincident and lagging indexes all held steady in October.Strong real money growth and lower unemployment claims in October offset weak consumer expectations and faster deliveries, as measured by vendor performance.The coincident index performance continues to suggest a recovering yet fragile economy. Industrial production has shed some of its gains from the first half of the year and nonagricultural employment has essentially remained unchanged. Moderate growth in personal income and manufacturing and trade sales continue to sustain economic growth.Although the leading index has been flat or declining over the past five months, it is only 0.2 percent below its level from April of this year.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.2 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased 0.6 percent in September.The leading index declined for the fourth consecutive month in September. This weakness has been primarily fueled by weak equity markets, a narrowing interest rate spread, and deteriorating consumer expectations.The six-month diffusion index of the leading index, which measures the proportion of components that are rising in a six-month span, is at 50 percent. Over the past several months, this index has continued to deteriorate, which is an indication of spreading weakness among the leading components.The coincident index continues to show a weak economic recovery. Industrial production and nonagricultural payrolls showed mild weakness in September but were offset by modest gains in income and manufacturing and trade sales.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.2 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in August.The leading index declined for the third month in a row in August. This was the first time in fifteen months that the six-month growth rate was negative.The weakness in the leading index was widespread, with a majority of the components showing declines.The coincident index continues to indicate a weak economic recovery. Industrial production declined for the first time this year and the other three components showed little improvement.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.1 percent in July.Although the incorporated data revisions deepened the depth of the decline in the coincident index in the most recent recession, the decline of this index remains mild by historical standards. The decline from the peak of the coincident index in December 2000 to its trough in November 2001 is only 1.7 percent compared to an average decline of 3.3 percent from peak to trough in the previous six recessions.Modest gains in the coincident index in the last five months reflect the slow pace of the economic recovery. To date, the pre-recession peak of the coincident index has not yet been reached.Although the leading index declined in three of the last six months, its six-month diffusion index, which measures the proportion of the components that are rising, remains above 50 percent. This month's decline in the leading index was primarily caused by weak equity markets and lower consumer expectations.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index held steady, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in June.Industrial production had its biggest gain this month since October 1998. This is the most significant factor that helped push the coincident index up in June. The index posted its largest increase in a six-month span since October 2000.The coincident index appears to be gaining momentum. While the index has not surpassed the previous peak in December 2000, it has been increasing or flat since the beginning of the year. To date, the index is less than 0.3 percent away from overtaking the December 2000 peak. Moreover, the gains in the index are well diffused. The one- and six-month diffusion for the coincident index have been above 50 percent for the past four months.Stock prices and consumer expectations are the primary components that are preventing the leading index from continuing its positive trend in June. The recent wave of questionable corporate practices and the lack of measures aimed at addressing them have largely contributed to the weakness in these two components.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.2 percent in May.The big jump in real money supply and initial claims for unemployment insurance were largely responsible for the leading index picking up in May. This marks the seventh increase in the leading index in the past eight months.The decline in the coincident index in the most recent recession was relatively modest. To date, the coincident index has only increased 0.4 percent from its lowest point in November 2001 compared to an average increase of 2.4 percent in the first six months of the past six recoveries.While the coincident index has been moderately improving, the lagging index has been steeply declining. This led to the seventh increase in the last eight months in the ratio of coincident to lagging index, a series that has historically led business cycles. This reinforces the continuation of the recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased by 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.4 percent in April.Real money supply, which shrank for the second consecutive month, and falling stock prices are the primary components that caused the leading index to drop for the first time since September 2001. The overall signal from the leading index, however, remains one of moderate economic growth.Modest gains in the coincident index in the past five months indicate a slowly recuperating economy. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index underscores this economic recovery posting its biggest gain in 15 months.While improvements in current economic activity have been moderate, the cost of doing business, as represented by the lagging index, has been steeply declining. This points to continued improvement in economic conditions in the near term.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.4 percent in March The leading index has been posting strong gains, growing by 2.9 percent from September 2001 to March 2002, and by 2.2 percent for each of the six-month periods ending January and February 2002. The gains would have been more robust had it not been for the weakness in building permits and claims for unemployment insurance Gains in industrial production in the last three months, coupled with a recovery in employment, have helped push the coincident index up. Negative trends in these indicators were largely responsible for the decline in the coincident index last year. US economic recovery appears to be underway. The combination of rising energy prices, the current global instability, and the more cautious consumer and business sectors, however, might slow the pace of economic growth in the near term.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index held steady, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.3 percent in February. Even with a flat month-to-month growth in February, the leading index is still up 2.4 percent from its value six months ago in August 2001 and up 3.1 percent from its value a year ago. The modest gains in the coincident index appear to be gaining momentum. Should this trend continue, the trough of the recession would most likely be November 2001, making the most recent economic contraction very short and certainly the mildest in U.S. history. The coincident-to-lagging ratio, which has historically led business cycles, is up for the fifth consecutive month in February. This is another signal that an economic recovery is underway.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.6 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased by 0.2 percent in January. The leading index posted a robust 2.2 percent increase from July 2001 to January 2002. This is the fourth consecutive month that the six-month growth rate of the leading index has improved. Meanwhile, the six-month diffusion index, which measures the number of components that are rising, has increased above 50 percent for the first time in 21 months. With a robust leading index, the coincident index appears to be bottoming out in the past two months. The rate of decline of nonagricultural payrolls and industrial production has slowed in the last three and four months respectively while personal income and manufacturing sales have essentially held their ground throughout the recession. The coincident-to-lagging ratio, which has historically led business cycles, is up for the fourth consecutive month in January. This underscores the strength of the leading index and indicates a likely economic recovery, barring any unexpected negative events.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 1.2 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.1 percent in December.The increase in the leading index in December is the largest gain since February of 1996. With this month's gain, the leading index has increased for three consecutive months bringing the index level above the pre-recession peak.The leading index continues to be driven by the expansionary monetary policy initiatives of the Federal Reserve. This is further strengthened by a rebound in the employment and expectations components in recent months.The coincident index's gain this month is the first in five months. This, coupled with a robust leading index, indicates that the economy, barring any unexpected shock, is gathering momentum.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased by 0.5 percent, the coincident index decreased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.7 percent in November. Gains in the financial, housing and expectations components propelled the leading index up in November for a second consecutive month. Should this pattern in the leading index continue, an economic recovery in the first half of next year may be possible. The coincident index continued to weaken as industrial production declined in thirteen of the last fourteen months while nonagricultural employees declined in six of the last eight months. Compared to the coincident index's average decline of 3.3 percent in the previous six recessions, the current decline has been relatively shallow. To date, the coincident index has declined by only 1.4 percent from its peak of 117.1 in December 2000.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased by 0.5 percent, the coincident index decreased by 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased by 0.2 percent in September. The composite indexes and their components suggest that the widespread weakness in the U.S. economy is becoming deeper.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: New York, NY, June 20, 2001 - The Conference Board today announced that the leading index increased 0.5 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased by 0.2 percent in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components suggest that the period of slow growth in the U.S. economy will continue in the next few months.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.3 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components suggest that the pace of economic activity is slowing to a more moderate pace during the second half of the year. The deceleration in the performance of the leading index appears to be showing up in the more modest growth of the coincident index. The perverse behavior of the leading indicators, particularly the sustained inverted yield curve, will nevertheless be a negative factor for the economy over the near term.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased by 0.1 percent in July. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to a slowing in the pace of economic activity for the second half of the year. The decline in the leading index over the past 6 months signifies a moderation in the momentum of the economy. After several months of strong gains, the unchanged level of the coincident index for the month of July is consistent with the deceleration in the performance of the leading index. No change in the coincident index, coupled with a decline in the lagging index, resulted in a rise in the coincident-to-lagging ratio. The decline in the leading index would be a stronger signal of an economic slowdown had it been matched by a decline in the ratio.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.8 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to sustained expansion but not at the rapid pace we saw in the beginning of the year: The flat pace in the leading indicators in the recent months clearly points to moderating momentum in the pace of economic activity. Gains in the employment, income and industrial production continue to drive the coincident index, even as growth in the leading index slows. If sharp increases in the lagging index continue, cyclical imbalance could jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.2 percent in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to sustained expansion but not at the rapid pace we saw in the beginning of the year: The modest pace in the leading index in the recent months clearly indicates some loss of momentum in the pace of economic activity. Gains in the employment, income, and industrial production continue to drive the coincident index. Future interest-rate increases remain to be the most significant threat to the current economic expansion.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.5 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.6 percent in April. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components continue to show a strong economy: The indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000, though at a slower pace than that of the last six months. The biggest risk to the ongoing expansion remains the interest-rate increases at hand, and the prospect of still more Federal Reserve action. The most immediate risk would be a sustained inverted yield curve.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index held steady in March. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a strong economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through March. Coupled with no change in the lagging index, the coincident-to-lagging ratio shows that last months decline was merely a one-month aberration. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000, though not at the pace of the last six months. The lagging index shows that cyclical imbalances were not a problem in March, but should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.8 percent in February. Taken together, the long-term outlook remains positive: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the second month of the year. With the release of February data, the expansion that began in the early 1990's is now the longest expansion in U.S. history. Despite a decline in the leading indicators, continued economic growth is expected. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability, as measured by the lagging index, must be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.2 percent in January. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a strong economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the first month of the year. With the release of January data, the economy has tied the expansion of the 1960's as the longest expansion in U.S. history. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000. The lagging index shows that cyclical imbalances were not a problem in January.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.5 percent in December. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the end of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.3 percent in November. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in October. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators have paused after strong growth early this year. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in September. This report merits careful interpretation, but does not change general conclusions drawn from previous releases, which show the economy is in good health: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems must be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of 3.0 percent (annualized) in the 3rd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems do not seem to be a problem yet.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.6 percent in July. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising in the 3rd quarter from the 1.8 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 2nd quarter. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems show inconsistent patterns of growth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.4 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising at a pace of 2.7 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999, compared to the advance estimate of GDP showing a 2.3 percent increase. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems are almost nonexistent.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index held steady in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of over 2.5 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through the remainder of 1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in April. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to activity continuing to rise at the start of the 2nd quarter of 1999, but at a pace that is much more modest than the 4.1 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 1st quarter. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through at least the 4th quarter of 1999. Evidence of cyclical imbalances from the lagging indicators—that might threaten the stability of the economy—is neither consistent nor convincing.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, and both the coincident and lagging indexes increased 0.2 percent in March. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators show aggregate economic activity growing at about a 3.25 percent annualized pace in the 1st quarter of 1999 (compared to a 4.5 percent increase in the advance estimate of GDP). The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion for at least six more months. Cyclical imbalances and related conditions are unlikely to jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.2 percent, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in February. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of about 3 percent (annualized) in the 1st quarter of 1999. The leading indicators show odds are high that the expansion will continue through at least late-1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.5 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in January. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show generally healthy conditions: The coincident indicators show that, although industrial production fell slightly, the first quarter of 1999 started on a positive note. The leading indicators are almost unanimous in predicting continued growth through at least the middle of the year. Signs of cyclical imbalances and other factors that might jeopardize the economy's stability remain relatively subdued.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.2 percent in December. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion, which has become the second longest on record. The coincident indicators show aggregate activity rising at a more moderate pace than GDP's rise of 5.6 percent (annualized) in the 4th quarter of 1998. There is no evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.6 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in November. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy with bright prospects in 1999. The coincident indicators point to GDP rising between 2.5 and 3 percent (annualized) in the 4th quarter of 1998. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through at least early 1999. The economy shows no evidence of cyclical imbalance.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in October. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy. The coincident indicators show the 4th quarter of 1998 starting with a relatively slow pace of growth (compared to the coincident index's rise of rise 3.0 percent and GDP's rise of 3.7 percent, annualized, during the first 3 quarters of 1998. The leading indicators show no serious impediments to moderate, or even strong, economic growth in 1999. There is almost no evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: Both the leading and coincident indexes held steady, while the lagging index fell 0.1 percent in September. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a slowing, but still healthy economy. The coincident indicators suggest the expansion advanced in the 2 to 2.5 percent range in the 3rd quarter of 1998, compared with constant- dollar GDP showing a 3.3 percent increase (annualized). It is premature to predict a recession based on the leading indicators. The lagging indicators have moderated, giving less reason to worry that cyclical imbalances will soon jeopardize the economy's stability.lances could jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy. The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a 2.5 to 3.0 percent pace (annualized) in the 3rd quarter of 1998. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through at least early 1999. The lagging indicators suggest a need to be concerned that cyclical imbalances could jeopardize the economy's stability in 1999.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.2 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.6 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a moderating economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising at faster pace than the latest GDP figures, but slower than the 4th quarter of 1997 and the 1st quarter of 1998. (The coincident index rose 3.1 percent while GDP rose 1.4 percent, annualized, in the 2nd quarter of 1998). A two-month decline in the leading indicators signals slower growth ahead and only a slight risk of a contraction. The lagging indicators show slight evidence of cyclical imbalances that could jeopardize the economyÕs stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States