US Leading Economic Index® Declined Further in June, The Conference Board Reports

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The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (7-21-22) the Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. in June of 2022. According to the report, the LEI for the U.S. declined 0.8% in June, falling to a reading of 117.1 (2016=100). The decrease follows a 0.6% decline in May. The LEI is now down 1.8% over the first half of 2022—a reversal from its 3.3% growth in the second half of 2021.

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.2% in June to a reading of 108.6 (2016=100), following a 0.2% increase in May. The CEI has increased by 1.2% in the first half of 2022, the same growth rate as in the second half of 2021.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. increased by 0.8% in June to a reading of 113.9 (2016=100), following a 0.8% increase in May. The LAG has increased by 4.0% over the six-month period from December 2021 to June 2022—faster than the 1.8% growth it experienced in the six-month period from June to December of 2021.

In a statement prepared for the release of the May LEI, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board, Ataman Ozyildirim, said:

“The US LEI declined for a fourth consecutive month suggesting economic growth is likely to slow further in the near-term as recession risks grow. Consumer pessimism about future business conditions, moderating labor market conditions, falling stock prices, and weaker manufacturing new orders drove the LEI’s decline in June. The coincident economic index which rose in June suggests the economy grew through the second quarter. However, the forward-looking LEI points to a US economic downturn ahead.

Amid high inflation and rapidly tightening monetary policy, The Conference Board expects economic growth will continue to cool throughout 2022. A US recession around the end of this year and early next is now likely. Accordingly, we’ve downgraded our forecast of 2022 annual Real GDP growth to 1.7 percent year-over-year (from 2.3 percent), while 2023 growth was downgraded to 0.5 percent YOY (from 1.8 percent).”

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