US leading indicators rise 0.3% in September but remain weak

21 October 2010 18:24  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The index of US leading economic indicators rose by 0.3% in September, the Conference Board said on Thursday, noting that the narrow advance and even weaker gains in two prior months indicated that the economy lacks momentum.

The Conference Board, a 94-year-old business analysis group based in New York City, said that its index of leading economic indicators (LEI) rose by 0.3% in September to 110.4 and followed a 0.1% gain in August and a 0.2% advance in July.

The index is measured against the baseline figure of 100 set in 2004.

“The LEI remains on a general upward trend, but it is growing at its slowest pace since the middle of 2009,” said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.

Ken Goldstein, another economist at the board, noted that “More than a year after the recession officially ended, the economy is slow and has no forward momentum.”

“The LEI suggests little change in economic conditions through the holidays or the early months of 2011,” Goldstein said.

The leading indicators index combines data from 10 subsidiary business measures, such as the money supply, interest rates, new orders for consumer goods and unemployment claims, among others.

The board said that the six-month rate of change in the index had continued to slow.

For the six months ended in September, the LEI gained only 0.8%, the board noted, compared with the 5.1% advance seen in the previous six months.

“In addition, the weaknesses among the 10 leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the strengths over the past six months,” the board said.

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By: Joe Kamalick
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