Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI)

The Conference Board’s LEI is a monthly index based on 10 components, both financial and non-financial, that anticipates turning points in the business cycle. The latest data for December came in at 110.5, a decrease of 1%. This represents its 10th consecutive decline and was worse than consensus forecast. Here’s the latest from the CB’s press release:

“The US LEI fell sharply again in December—continuing to signal recession for the US economy in the near term,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics, at The Conference Board. “There was widespread weakness among leading indicators in December, indicating deteriorating conditions for labor markets, manufacturing, housing construction, and financial markets in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index (CEI) has not weakened in the same fashion as the LEI because labor market related indicators (employment and personal income) remain robust. Nonetheless, industrial production— also a component of the CEI—fell for the third straight month. Overall economic activity is likely to turn negative in the coming quarters before picking up again in the final quarter of 2023.”