U.S. Leading Economic Index Slowed in September
By Xavier Fontdegloria
An economic index that measures U.S. business cycles rose in
September for the fifth straight month, but its expansion pace
further decelerated, data from the Conference Board showed
The Leading Economic index came in at 107.2 in September, up
0.7% compared with the prior month. Economists polled by The Wall
Street Journal expected the reading to increase at a roughly
similar pace of 0.6%.
In August, the index rose by an upwardly revised 1.4% compared
September reading marks the fifth straight month rise for the
index, which registered in March the steepest monthly decline ever
amid the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. After rebounding
in May and June, the indicator has gradually slowed down.
"The decelerating pace of improvement suggests the US economy
could be losing momentum heading into the final quarter of 2020,"
Conference Board Senior Director of Economic Research Ataman
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index is based on 10
components, among them initial claims for unemployment insurance,
manufacturers' new orders, building permits of new private housing
units, stock prices and consumers expectations. It is intended to
signal swings in the business cycle and to smooth out some of the
volatility of individual indicators.
The increase in September was driven primarily by declining
unemployment claims and rising housing permits.
The U.S. economy is projected to expand in the fourth quarter
but downside risks to the recovery may be increasing amid rising
new cases of Covid-19 and continued labor market weakness, Mr.
The Coincident Economic Index rose 0.2% in September to 101.7,
while the Lagging Economic Index decreased 0.1% to 107.6, data from
the Conference Board showed.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2020 10:24 ET (14:24 GMT)
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