By Xavier Fontdegloria


An economic index that measures U.S. business cycles rose in August at a slightly quicker pace than in July, data from The Conference Board showed Thursday.

The Leading Economic index came in at 117.1 in August, up 0.9% compared with the previous month. The rise beats the expectations from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who expected a 0.7% increase.

In July, the index increased by 0.8% on month, less than the 0.9% rise previously estimated. The indicator is well above pre-pandemic levels.

"While the Delta variant--alongside rising inflation fears--could create headwinds for labor markets and the consumer spending outlook in the near term, the trend in the LEI is consistent with robust economic growth in the reminder of the year," Conference Board Senior Director of Economic Research Ataman Ozyildirim said.

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.

Real gross domestic product growth for 2021 is expected to reach nearly 6.0%, before easing to 4.0% in 2022, Mr. Ozyildirim said.

The Coincident Economic Index rose 0.2% in August to 105.9, while the Lagging Economic Index edged up 0.1% in August to 106.3, the report said.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 23, 2021 10:26 ET (14:26 GMT)

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