U.S. Leading Economic Index Drops Slightly More Than Expected In September

Suggesting a recession is increasingly likely before yearend, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a slightly bigger than expected decrease by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of September.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index fell by 0.4 percent in September after revised data showed the index was unchanged in August.

Economists had expected the leading economic index to dip by 0.3 percent, matching the drop originally reported for the previous month.

The index is down 2.8 percent over the six-month period between March and September 2022, representing a reversal from the 1.4 percent growth over the previous six months.

“The six-month growth rate of the LEI fell deeper into negative territory in September, and weaknesses among the leading indicators were widespread,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics, at The Conference Board.

He added, “Amid high inflation, slowing labor markets, rising interest rates, and tighter credit conditions, The Conference Board forecasts real GDP growth will be 1.5 percent year-over-year in 2022, before slowing further in the first half of next year.”

Meanwhile, the report showed the coincident economic index rose by 0.2 percent in September after inching up by 0.1 percent in August.

The lagging economic index also increased by 0.6 percent in September after climbing by 0.8 percent in the previous month.

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