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Sharper Than Expected Decline In Leading Indicators

Bruno T
Macro
February 20 2024 5:48AM

The index of leading indicators in the USA fell more than expected in January, due in particular to a decline in the number of hours worked in manufacturing, suggesting that the US economy is slowing down, announced the Conference Board employers’ organization on Tuesday.

This leading index, which foreshadows the general economic trend for the coming months, fell by 0.4% in January, to 102.7, following a 0.2% decline in December.

Economists were anticipating a more limited decline, of around 0.2%.

Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, ConfBoard economist, nevertheless points out that for the first time in two years, the positive contributors to the statistics, numbering six, outweighed the negative factors, of which there were only four.

As a result, the Conference Board says it no longer anticipates a recession in the US this year, but warns that growth will slow to near-zero levels in the second and third quarters.