July Leading Economic Index Sees 3rd Consecutive Increase
The Conference Board, New York, said its Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased by 0.9 percent in July to 116.0, following a 0.5 percent increase in June and a 1.2 percent increase in May.
The Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. increased by 0.6 percent in July to 105.6, following an 0.4 percent increase in June and an 0.1 percent increase in May. The Lagging Economic Index for the U.S. increased by 0.6 percent in May to 106.5, after being unchanged in June and increasing by 0.8 percent in May.
“The Leading Index’s overall upward trend, which started with the end of the pandemic-induced recession in April 2020, is consistent with strong economic growth in the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research with The Conference Board. “While the Delta variant and/or rising inflation fears could create headwinds for the US economy in the near term, we expect real GDP growth for 2021 to reach 6.0 percent year-over-year, before easing to a still robust 4.0 percent growth rate for 2022.”
“The 0.9% increase in the Leading Economic Index in July bested consensus expectations with strength from financial components and [Institute for Supply Management] orders,” said Tim Quinlan, Senior Economist with Wells Fargo Economics, Charlotte, N.C. “Future gains will get tougher as the pivot to services starts to weigh on orders and early measures suggest Delta/COVID could be weighing on consumer sentiment in August.”