Leading Economic Indicators Jump in June

The Conference Board, New York, said its Leading Economic Index jumped by 0.6 percent in June to 127.8, following an 0.2 percent increase in May and an 0.2 percent increase in April.

The Coincident Economic Index increased by 0.2 percent in June to 115.5, the third consecutive increase. The Lagging Economic Index also increased for the third straight month, by 0.2 percent to 124.4.

The sharp June increase “pointed to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement in GDP growth in the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research with The Conference Board. “The broad-based gain in the U.S. LEI was led by a large contribution from housing permits, which improved after several months of weakness.”

Tim Quinlan, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C., said underlying components suggest that the hard data may be closing the gap with the soft, or expectation-related, data.

“Eight of the components added to the topline figure, while jobless claims was the only component that weighed on the index, shaving 0.05 percentage points off the index,” Quinlan said. “The housing recovery is getting back on track and should continue to boost [numbers].”