Report Shows Optimism About US Economy

A key forward-looking gauge of economic conditions in the U.S. increased in June.

Think tank The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.7 percent in June to 115.1 (2016 = 100), following a 1.2 percent increase in May and a 1.3 percent increase in April.

“June’s gain in the U.S. LEI was broad-based and, despite negative contributions from housing permits and average workweek, suggests that strong economic growth will continue in the near term,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.

Ozyildirim continued, “While month-over-month growth slowed somewhat in June, the LEI’s overall upward trend—which started with the end of the pandemic-induced recession in April 2020—accelerated further in Q2. The Conference Board still forecasts year-over-year real GDP growth of 6.6 percent for 2021 and a healthy 3.8 percent for 2022.”

The index looks at ten factors seen as predictive of economic performance.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing

Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance

Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials

ISM Index of New Orders

Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

Building permits, new private housing units

Stock prices, 500 common stocks

Leading Credit Index

Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds

Average consumer expectations for business conditions

Founded in 1916, The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that offers insights for what’s ahead.

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