- Japan: First Ten Days Trade (Mar), International Trade, Foreign Banks Foreign Banks in Japan (Feb)
- New Zealand: Tourism Expenditure, International Reserves, RBNZ Analytical Accounts/Statistical Balance Sheet, Foreign Currency Assets, Liabilities, and Currency Flows (Feb); Australia: Flow of Funds (Q4), Job Vacancies (Q1)
- Korea: Building Permits (Feb); Philippines: LFS (Q3)
- US: IIP (Q4)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Tom Moeller April 21, 2016
The Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators increased 0.2% during March (2.2% y/y), following declines in each of the prior three months. February's 0.1% shortfall was revised from a 0.1% gain. The latest improvement fell short of expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey for a 0.3% rise. The three-month change in the index improved to zero, up from -1.9% in February. Fewer building permits and more initial unemployment insurance claims had negative effects on the overall leading index. These influences were offset by higher stock prices, a steeper interest rate yield curve and an improved ISM new orders diffusion index.
The coincident index remained unchanged (1.8% y/y) after an unrevised 0.1% February rise. It was the weakest monthly performance since May. Three-month growth eased to 1.4% (AR), its least since December. Nonfarm payrolls, personal income less transfers and manufacturing & trade sales contributed positively to last month's index, but industrial production fell for the fifth month in six.
The lagging index increased 0.4% (3.8% y/y) after a 0.5% rise, revised from 0.4%. Three-month growth increased to 4.1%, its strongest since November. More C&I loans, a longer duration of unemployment and a higher consumer installment debt/personal income ratio contributed positively to the index rise last month. A weaker gain in the services CPI detracted from the overall index increase.
The ratio of coincident-to-lagging indicators also is a leading indicator of economic activity. It measures excesses in the economy relative to its ongoing performance. This ratio declined to the lowest level of the economic expansion.
The Conference Board figures are available in Haver's BCI database; the components are available there, and most are also in USECON. The forecast figures for the Consensus are in the AS1REPNA database. Visit the Conference Board's site for coverage of leading indicator series from around the world.
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