Updates On Economic Indicators January 2012

Here is an update on various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity.  These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The January Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)(pdf) updated as of January 26, 2012:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

An excerpt from the January 3 update titled “Index forecasts weaker growth” :

The December update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows real GDP growth, at a six-month annualized growth rate, increasing to 2.5% in January and then slowing to 1.8% in May. While employment, housing (mostly the multifamily sector) and consumer spending are slowly recovering, concerns about the Eurozone and world growth continue.

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of 1/13/12 the WLI was at 123.4 and the WLI, Gr. was at -7.5%.

A chart of the WLI Growth since 2000, from Doug Short’s blog of January 20 titled “ECRI Recession Call:  Growth Index Contraction Eases” :

The Dow Jones ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator):

The Indicator as of January 9 was at 41.9, as seen below:

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

Here is the latest chart, depicting 1-21-10 to 1-21-12:

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

As per the January 26 release, the LEI was at 94.3 and the CEI was at 103.4 in December.

An excerpt from the January 26 release:

Added Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The CEI and other recent data reflect an economy that ended 2011 on a positive note and the LEI provides some reason for cautious optimism in the­ first half of 2012. This somewhat positive outlook for a strengthening domestic economy would seem to be at odds with a global economy that is losing some steam. Looking ahead, the big question remains whether cooling conditions elsewhere will limit domestic growth or, conversely, growth in the U.S. will lend some economic support to the rest of the globe.”


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 1318.43 as this post is written