Conference Board Leading Economic Index

The LEI for the US increased 0.3 percent in January to 99.5 (2004 = 100) following no change in December and a 0.9 percent increase in November.

The US Leading Economic Index continues to fluctuate on a monthly basis, but the six month average growth rate has been relatively stable in recent months which suggests that the economy will remain resilient in the first half of 2014 and underlying economic issues should continue to improve.”

The increase in the LEI reflects an economy that is expanding moderately, although the pace is somewhat held back by persistent and severe inclement weather in most parts of the country” said economist Ken Goldstein. “If the economy is going to move on a faster track in 2014 compared to last year, consumer demand and specialty investment will need to pick up significantly from their current trends.”

This Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

It reported a decline led by production related indicators, the index decreasing in January from December. The moving three month average (CFNAI-MA3) also decreased in January but still marked its fifth consecutive reading above zero, suggesting growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend. This is good news although the index has posted declines the past few months. I defer to the LEI report above: lackluster growth needing a kick in the rear…..we have been dealing with this garbage since 2009….

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in January decreased 1.0 percent; the decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 5.3 percent December decrease.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in January, down; down two consecutive months, decreased 0.4 percent.
  • Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in January, up eleven of the last twelve months, increased 0.1 percent.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in January, up nine of the last ten months, increased 0.3 percent.
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