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Financial News: U.S. Leading Economic Index Edges Slightly Lower In

U.S. Leading Economic Index Edges Slightly Lower In December

01/22/2024 - 11:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Continuing to signal underlying weakness in the U.S. economy, the Conference Board released a report on Monday showing a modest decrease by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of December.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in December after falling by 0.5 percent in November. Economists had expected the index to decrease by 0.3 percent.

"Despite the overall decline, six out of ten leading indicators made positive contributions to the LEI in December," said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board.

She added, "Nonetheless, these improvements were more than offset by weak conditions in manufacturing, the high interest-rate environment, and low consumer confidence."

The report said the lagging economic index also dipped by 0.2 percent in December following a 0.5 percent increase in November.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board said the coincident economic index rose by 0.2 percent in December, matching the uptick seen in the previous month.

"As the magnitude of monthly declines has lessened, the LEI's six-month and twelve-month growth rates have turned upward but remain negative, continuing to signal the risk of recession ahead," said Zabinska-La Monica.

She continued, "Overall, we expect GDP growth to turn negative in Q2 and Q3 of 2024 but begin to recover late in the year."

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