The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.2% in August to 124.1 (2010 = 100), following a 0.5% increase in July, and a 0.2% increase in June.

"While the U.S. LEI declined in August, its trend still points to moderate economic growth in the months ahead," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. "Although strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators are roughly balanced, positive contributions from the financial indicators were more than offset by weakening of non-financial indicators, such as leading indicators of labor markets, suggesting some risks to growth persist."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1% in August to 114.1 (2010 = 100), following a 0.3% increase in July, and a 0.3% increase in June.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.2% in August to 122.1 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2% increase in July, and a 0.2% decline in June.

The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

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