US Leading Economic Index® Declines Again in November, The Conference Board Reports

The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (12-22-22) its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the US in November 2022. According to the report, the LEI declined 1.0% in November to a reading of 113.5 (2016=100), following a 0.9% decline in October and a 0.5% drop in September. The LEI has dropped 3.7% over the six-month period from May to November—a much steeper rate of decline than its 0.8% contraction over the previous six-month period (November 2021 through May 2022).

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased by 0.1% in November to a reading of 109.4 (2016=100), following a 0.2% rise in October and a 0.2% increase in September. The CEI has increased by 1.2% over the six-month period from May to November, faster than its growth of 0.7% over the previous six-month period.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased by 0.2% in November to a reading of 116.4 (2016=100). This follows no change in October and a 0.8% increase in September. The LAG has increased by 2.7% over the six-month period from May to November, slower than its growth of 4.0% over the previous six-month period.

Adding additional background and his analysis of the November LEI, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board, Ataman Ozyildirim, said:

“The US LEI fell sharply in November, continuing the slide it’s been on for most of 2022 after peaking in February. Only stock prices contributed positively to the US LEI in November. Labor market, manufacturing, and housing indicators all weakened—reflecting serious headwinds to economic growth. Interest rate spread and manufacturing new orders components were essentially unchanged in November, confirming a lack of economic growth momentum in the near term.

Despite the current resilience of the labor market—as revealed by the US CEI in November—and consumer confidence improving in December, the US LEI suggests the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening cycle is curtailing aspects of economic activity, especially housing. As a result, we project a US recession is likely to start around the beginning of 2023 and last through mid-year.”

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