Updates On Economic Indicators May 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 May Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)(pdf) updated as of May 21, 2012:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

An excerpt from the April 26 update titled “Index forecasts weaker growth” :

The April 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 February and March and then slowing to 2.0% during the summer months. 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 5/18/12 (incorporating data through 5/11/12) the WLI was at 124.5 and the WLI, Gr. was at .4%.

A chart of the WLI, Gr. since 2000, from Doug Short’s blog of May 18 titled “ECRI Recession Call Update:  WLI Declines, But Growth Improves Slightly” :

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

Here is the latest chart, depicting 5-12-10 to 5-12-12:


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

As per the May 17 release, the LEI was at 95.5 and the CEI was at 104.3 in April.

An excerpt from the May 17 release:

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The LEI declined slightly in April. Falling housing permits, rising initial claims for unemployment insurance and subdued consumer expectations offset small gains in the remaining components. The LEI’s six-month growth rate fell slightly, but remains in expansionary territory and well above its growth at the end of 2011. The CEI, a measure of current economic conditions, has also increased for five consecutive months.”



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 1317.73 as this post is written