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  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.2 percent, the coincident index decreased by 0.1 percent, and the lagging index held steady in October. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components suggest that the pace of economic activity is slowing down to a more moderate pace. A cooling off in the economy from its faster pace earlier this year and last year is reflected in the nine straight months that the Leading Index has been either flat or declining. This was confirmed by the Coincident Index which registered a decline this month after 13 months of continuous gains. The leveling off of the leading and coincident indexes results from the sustained inverted yield curve and the tight labor market brought about by prolonged economic expansion.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased by 0.4 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.1 percent in September. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components suggest that the pace of economic activity continues to grow although more moderately. Strong income gains, together with increases in employment and industrial production, continue to drive the Coincident Index higher. The flat performance of the leading index partly results from the sustained inverted yield curve, which has the potential of hindering strong economic growth in the near term.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.3 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components suggest that the pace of economic activity is slowing to a more moderate pace during the second half of the year. The deceleration in the performance of the leading index appears to be showing up in the more modest growth of the coincident index. The perverse behavior of the leading indicators, particularly the sustained inverted yield curve, will nevertheless be a negative factor for the economy over the near term.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index held steady, and the lagging index decreased by 0.1 percent in July. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to a slowing in the pace of economic activity for the second half of the year. The decline in the leading index over the past 6 months signifies a moderation in the momentum of the economy. After several months of strong gains, the unchanged level of the coincident index for the month of July is consistent with the deceleration in the performance of the leading index. No change in the coincident index, coupled with a decline in the lagging index, resulted in a rise in the coincident-to-lagging ratio. The decline in the leading index would be a stronger signal of an economic slowdown had it been matched by a decline in the ratio.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.8 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to sustained expansion but not at the rapid pace we saw in the beginning of the year: The flat pace in the leading indicators in the recent months clearly points to moderating momentum in the pace of economic activity. Gains in the employment, income and industrial production continue to drive the coincident index, even as growth in the leading index slows. If sharp increases in the lagging index continue, cyclical imbalance could jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.2 percent in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components point to sustained expansion but not at the rapid pace we saw in the beginning of the year: The modest pace in the leading index in the recent months clearly indicates some loss of momentum in the pace of economic activity. Gains in the employment, income, and industrial production continue to drive the coincident index. Future interest-rate increases remain to be the most significant threat to the current economic expansion.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased by 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased by 0.5 percent, and the lagging index increased by 0.6 percent in April. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components continue to show a strong economy: The indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000, though at a slower pace than that of the last six months. The biggest risk to the ongoing expansion remains the interest-rate increases at hand, and the prospect of still more Federal Reserve action. The most immediate risk would be a sustained inverted yield curve.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index held steady in March. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a strong economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through March. Coupled with no change in the lagging index, the coincident-to-lagging ratio shows that last months decline was merely a one-month aberration. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000, though not at the pace of the last six months. The lagging index shows that cyclical imbalances were not a problem in March, but should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.8 percent in February. Taken together, the long-term outlook remains positive: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the second month of the year. With the release of February data, the expansion that began in the early 1990's is now the longest expansion in U.S. history. Despite a decline in the leading indicators, continued economic growth is expected. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability, as measured by the lagging index, must be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.2 percent in January. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a strong economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the first month of the year. With the release of January data, the economy has tied the expansion of the 1960's as the longest expansion in U.S. history. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000. The lagging index shows that cyclical imbalances were not a problem in January.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States