Conference Board Leading Economic Index

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index is an American economic leading indicator intended to forecast future economic activity. It is calculated by The Conference Board, a non-governmental organization, which determines the value of the index from the values of ten key variables. These variables have historically turned downward before a recession and upward before an expansion. The single index value composed from these ten variables has generally proved capable of predicting recessions over the past 50 years, but in most cases it has been known to falsely predict recessions which did not occur.

  • The United States Department of Labor’s monthly report on the unemployment rate, average hourly earnings and the average workweek hours from the Employment Situation report
  • The United States Department of Labor’s weekly report on first-time claims for state unemployment insurance
  • The United States Census Bureau’s monthly consumer goods and materials report from the Preliminary Report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders
  • The United States Census Bureau’s monthly non-defense capital goods report from the Preliminary Report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders
  • The United States Census Bureau’s monthly report on building permits from the Housing Starts and Building Permits report
  • The difference (spread) between the interest rates of 10-year United States Treasury notes and the federal funds rate
  • The Federal Reserve's inflation-adjusted measure of the M2 money supply
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly ISM Index of Manufacturing including: supplier deliveries, imports, production, inventories, new orders, new export orders, order backlogs, prices and employment.
  • The S&P 500
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index's consumer expectations

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