The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. Declined Sharply Again in December
Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. decreased by 1.0 percent in December 2022 to 110.5 (2016=100), following a decline of 1.1 percent in November. The LEI is now down 4.2 percent over the six-month period between June and December 2022—a much steeper rate of decline than its 1.9 percent contraction over the previous six-month period (December 2021–June 2022).
"The US LEI fell sharply again in December—continuing to signal recession for the US economy in the near term," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics, at The Conference Board. "There was widespread weakness among leading indicators in December, indicating deteriorating conditions for labor markets, manufacturing, housing construction, and financial markets in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index (CEI) has not weakened in the same fashion as the LEI because labor market related indicators (employment and personal income) remain robust. Nonetheless, industrial production— also a component of the CEI—fell for the third straight month. Overall economic activity is likely to turn negative in the coming quarters before picking up again in the final quarter of 2023."
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.1 percent in December 2022 to 109.6 (2016=100), after no change in November. The CEI rose by 1.4 percent over the six-month period from June to December 2022, faster than its growth of 0.4 percent over the previous six months. The CEI's component indicators—payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing trade and sales, and industrial production—are included among the data used to determine recessions in the US. Only the industrial production index contributed negatively to the CEI in December—the same as in November.
The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index (LAG) for the U.S. increased by 0.3 percent in December 2022 to 117.6 (2016 = 100), following an increase of 0.2 percent in November. The LAG is up 2.3 percent over the six-month period from June to December 2022, much slower than its growth of 4.5 percent over the previous six months.