Despite Headwinds, the U.S. Leading Economic Index® Continued to Improve in March 2022

The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (3-18-22) the Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. in March 2022. According to the report, the LEI for the U.S. increased by 0.3% in March to 119.8 (2016=100), following a 0.6% increase in February. The LEI increased by 1.9% in the six-month period from September 2021 to March 2022.

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.4% in March to 108.7 (2016=00), following a 0.4% increase in February. The CEI increased by 2.2% in the six-month period from September 2021 to March 2022.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased by 0.6% in March to 110.9 (2016=100), following a 0.2% increase in February. The LAG increased by 2.0% in the six-month period from September 2021 to March 2022.

In remarks prepared for the release of the LEI, Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board, said:

“The US LEI rose again in March despite headwinds from the war in Ukraine. This broad-based improvement signals economic growth is likely to continue through 2022 despite volatile stock prices and weakening business and consumer expectations. The Conference Board projects 3.0 percent year-over-year US GDP growth in 2022, which is slower than the 5.6 percent pace of 2021, but still well above pre-covid trend. This rate also reflects a 0.5 ppt downgrade incorporated in our base case to include the effects of the war in Ukraine compared to before the war (3.5 percent). However, downside risks to the growth outlook remain, associated with intensification of supply chain disruptions and inflation linked to lingering pandemic shutdowns and the war, as well as with tightening monetary policy and persistent labor shortages.”


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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in March