A U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose for the sixth straight month in September, with eight of ten indicators increasing for the month, suggesting a recovery in the U.S. economy is developing, the privately held non-profit Conference Board said on Thursday.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index grew 1 percent and now stands at 103.5 as all indicators except average workweek and building permits contributed positively to the index this month.
The six month change in the index continued to pick up to 5.7 percent in the period through September, up from 2.7 percent for the previous six months. The index was at 97.9 in March.
The LEI has risen for six consecutive months and the coincident economic index has increased in two of the last three months. These numbers strongly suggest that a recovery is developing. However, the intensity of that recovery will depend on how much, and how soon, demand picks up, said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board.
Positive contributors, beginning with the largest, were:
Interest rate spread
Index of consumer expectations
Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted)
Real money supply
Index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance)
Manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods
Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials
Average weekly manufacturing hours
The index is constructed using real and estimated data and is revised as new data is published.
The Coincident Economic Index was unchanged. It tracks non-farm payrolls, personal income less transfer payments, industrial production and sales from manufacturing and trade.
The Lagging Economic Index was down 0.3 percent in September. It tracks average duration of employment, inventories to sales ratio and manufacturing trade, labor cost per unit of output, manufacturing, average prime rate, commercial and industrial loans, consumer installment credit to personal income ratio, consumper price index for services.