leading economic indicators

What exactly? A composite index (1992 = 100) of ten economic indicators designed to predict economic activity six to nine months in future. These indicators include:

  1. The average manufacturing-worker workweek (from the employment report)

  2. Initial jobless claims
  3. Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials (from the factory orders report)
  4. Vendor performance (from the Purchasing Managers' Index report)
  5. Manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods (from the factory orders report)
  6. Building permits (from the housing starts report)
  7. The level of the S&P 500
  8. The inflation-adjusted measure of the M2 money supply
  9. The interest-rate spread between the 10-year Treasury note and the fed funds rate
  10. The expectations portion of the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index

Source: The Conference Board

Frequency: Monthly

Released when? Around the end of the month at 10 a.m. Eastern. Data for prior month.

Market importance: None. Never moves market owing to fact that most components have already been reported separately by the time the index is released.

Other notes: Until 1995 the Commerce Department compiled the leading index.

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