FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The Conference Board's leading index has edged down in January for the fourth consecutive time, while the coincident index edged up and the lagging index remained unchanged according to the private institute of economic research.

The leading index has dipped 0.1% following a 0.2% fall in December, with stock prices being he largest negative contributor, followed by housing permits. Money supply (real M2), index of consumer expectations, and initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted) made positive contributions to the index.

The coincident index has increased 0.1% due to positive contributions from personal income less transfer payments, real manufacturing and trade sales, and industrial production partially offset by the small decline in nonagricultural payroll employment.

Ian Shepherdson, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, Ltd, foresees a sharer decline on the indes for next month: We can already be pretty sure the February index will be down sharply as a result of the strong rebound in claims and the collapse in consumers' expectations. In y/y terms the LEI is down 1.5%, a bit less than the 2.0% y/y in Feb 01, immediately before the recession. Still, the survey is gloomy indeed and suggests that if recession is avoided, it will be close.