Ekonomické zprávy

U.S. Leading Economic Index unexpectedly increases in February

The Conference Board announced on Thursday that its Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the US edged up 0.1 per cent m-o-m in February to 102.8 (2016=100), following an unrevised 0.4 m-o-m drop in January. This marked the first increase in the U.S. LEI since February 2022.

Economists had predicted a fall of 0.2 per cent m-o-m.

The report also revealed the Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the US rose by 0.2 per cent m-o-m to 112.3 in February after a downwardly revised 0.1 per cent m-o-m uptick (from +0.2 per cent m-o-m) in the previous month. Meanwhile, its Lagging Economic Index (LAG) for the US climbed 0.3 per cent m-o-m to 118.8, following a downwardly revised 0.3 per cent m-o-m jump (from +0.4 per cent m-o-m) in January.

Commenting on the latest data, Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators at the Conference Board, said that strength in weekly hours worked in manufacturing, stock prices, the Leading Credit Index, and residential construction drove the LEI’s first monthly increase in two years. “Despite February’s increase, the Index still suggests some headwinds to growth going forward,” she added. Zabinska-La Monica also revealed that the Conference Board expects annualized U.S. GDP growth to slow over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period, as rising consumer debt and elevated interest rates weigh on consumer spending.

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