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Financial News: U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises In Line With

U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises In Line With Estimates In May

06/22/2017 - 10:16:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Reflecting widespread improvement, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing that its index of leading U.S. economic indicators rose in line with economist estimates in the month of May.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.3 percent in May after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent in April.

Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, said the continued upward trend by the index suggests the economy is likely to "remain on, or perhaps even moderately above, its long-term trend of about 2 percent growth for the remainder of the year."

"The improvement was widespread among the majority of the leading indicators except for housing permits, which declined again," he added. "And, the average workweek in manufacturing has recently shown no sign of improvement."

The continued increase by the leading economic index reflected positive contributions from eight of the ten indicators that make up the index.

The interest rate spread, the ISM new orders index, average consumer expectations for business conditions, the Leading Credit Index, and stock prices were among the biggest positive contributors.

The Conference Board also said the coincident economic index inched up by 0.1 percent in May following a 0.3 percent increase in April.

Personal income less transfer payments, employees on non-farm payrolls and manufacturing and trade sales made positive contributions, while industrial production held steady.

The report said the lagging economic index also crept up by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by 0.3 percent in the previous month.

The uptick by the index reflected positive contributions from commercial and industrial loans outstanding, the ratio of consumer installment credit outstanding to personal income and the change in manufacturing labor costs.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board said the negative contributors were the average duration of unemployment and the change in consumer prices for services.

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