The Conference Board Leading Economic Index rose 0.4% in March to 114.1 (2004 = 100), following a 1.0% rise in February and a 0.2% gain in January. This puts the index at an all-time high, The Conference Board
“The U.S. Leading Economic Indicator continued to increase in March, pointing to strengthening business conditions in the near term,” said Conference Board Economist Ataman Ozyildirim. “The March increase was led by the interest rate spread and housing permits components, while consumer expectations dropped. The U.S. Coincident Economic Index, a monthly measure of current economic conditions, also continued to rise, led by gains in industrial production and employment.”
Ken Goldstein, also an economist with The Conference Board, said it appears that U.S. economic growth will be sustained through year end. However, rising oil prices, the Japan earthquake and unrest in the Middle East might have an impact.
The Coincident Economic Index rose 0.2% in March to 102.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1% increase in February and a 0.5% increase in January. This index is still 4.3 percentage points below its level at the start of the recession.