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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in July

Sixth Consecutive Increase; Economy Gaining Traction

NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.9 percent in July to 103.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in June, and a 0.6 percent increase in May.

"The LEI improved sharply in July, suggesting that the economy is gaining traction and growth should continue at a strong pace for the remainder of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. "Although housing has been one of the weakest components this year, the sharp gain in building permits helped boost the LEI in July. Financial markets and labor market conditions have also supported recent gains, but business spending indicators remain soft and their contribution marginal."

"The pace of economic activity remained reasonably strong in July," said Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board. "Although retail sales were a little disappointing, hiring and industrial activity improved. July's increase in the LEI, coupled with its accelerating growth trend, points to stronger economic growth over the coming months."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in July to 109.6 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in June, and a 0.2 percent increase in May.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in July to 124.6 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in June, and a 0.4 percent increase in May.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. 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 

For full press release and technical notes:  
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators:  
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

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