Updates On Economic Indicators March 2011

Here is an update on various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity.  (Past updates of these indicators, as well as previous posts discussing the individual indicators, can be found under “Economic Indicators“) :

The March Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)(pdf) updated as of March 21, 2011:

The Consumer Metrics Institute Contraction Watch:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

An excerpt from the February 25 Press Release, titled “Economic index forecasts stronger growth” :

“The February update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows real GDP growth, at a six-month annualized growth rate, increasing to 3.6% in March through June and then slowing slightly to 3.4% in July. Improved consumer and business confidence and the new tax legislation are expected to help fuel growth. But continued high unemployment, a still-weak housing sector and tight credit conditions will keep growth below 4% this year.”

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of 3/11/11 the WLI was at 130.4 and the WLI, Gr. was at 7.1%.  A chart of the growth rates of the Weekly Leading and Weekly Coincident Indexes:

The Dow Jones ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator):

The Indicator as of February 28 was at 46.5, as seen below:

The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions (ADS) Index:

Here is the latest chart, depicting 3-12-09 to 3-12-11:

The Conference Board Leading (LEI) and Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes:

As per the March 17 release, the LEI was at 113.4 and the CEI was at 102.5 in February.

An excerpt from the March 17, 2011 Press Release:

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “With February’s large gain, the U.S. LEI returned to the strengthening upward trend that began last September. The LEI is pointing to an economic expansion that should gain more momentum in the coming months. In February, improvements in labor markets, financial components, and consumer expectations more than offset falling housing permits.”


I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1298.38 as this post is written