The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased 0.8% in May to 114.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4% decline in April and a 0.7% increase in March. The largest contributions came from the interest rate spread, consumer expectations and housing permits.
“The U.S. Leading Economic Index rebounded in May and resumed its upward trend, with a majority of the components supporting this gain,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist with The Conference Board. “The Coincident Economic Index, a monthly measure of current economic conditions, continued to increase slowly but steadily. Overall, despite short-term volatility, the composite indexes still point to expanding economic activity in the coming months.”
However, Ken Goldstein, an economist with The Conference Board, pointed to difficulties that other experts have been warning about in recent weeks, namely high gas and good prices and a continuing tepid housing market. “Modest economic growth will likely continue through the summer and fall. However, it will be choppy,” he said.
The Coincident Economic Index rose 0.1% in May to 102.9, following a 0.1% increase in April and a 0.2% increase in March. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index increased 0.3% in May to 109.1, following a 0.5% increase in April and a 0.2% increase in March.