Updates On Economic Indicators

Here are some indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity.  These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:


an excerpt dated 2/24: “The February update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows real GDP growth, at a six-month annualized growth rate, above 4% in January through April followed by slower but solid growth in May through July. The slower growth is expected as inventory boosts slow and the government’s monetary and fiscal stimulus programs end.”

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):


an excerpt dated March 12:  “(Reuters) – A gauge of future U.S. economic growth rose slightly in the latest week while its yearly growth index continued to fall to a 31-week low, upholding expectations the economy will likely decelerate starting mid-year, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index was 130.6 for the week ended March 5, up from 129.8 the previous week.”

Fortune’s Big Picture Index:


-I was unable to obtain updated values for this index-

The Dow Jones ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator)


This indicator was at 38.1 as of March 1; as seen on the chart, this index seems to be holding at a relatively steady level since November.

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


Here is the latest chart (updated as of March 6) of this indicator:

The Conference Board LEI (Leading Economic Index) and CEI (Coincident Economic Index)


Per a news release of February 18, the January LEI was at 107.4 and the January CEI was at 100.1.  There exists a notable gap between these two measures.

“New Financial Conditions Index”

I had a post of this index on Wednesday, which can be found here:



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.

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SPX at 1149.99 as this post is written

1 thought on “Updates On Economic Indicators”

  1. Mr. Kavadas:

    There is a new source of daily economic data shows that shows that the ‘demand’ side of the economy has been shrinking at an annualized rate of over 1.5% during the trailing quarter. The new data, derived from millions of daily U.S. consumer internet transactions, recorded the trailing 91-days transitioning into net contraction on January 15th, 2010 after peaking at the end of August 2009. The contraction will flow down to the ‘supply’ side of the economy over the next few months, with the lagging GDP shrinking in the second quarter (see http://www.consumerindexes.com/GDPvsDGI.gif).

    There are two separate stories in the above paragraph:

    1) There is a revolutionary new daily source of spin-free hard data about the demand side of the economy. It does not involve any governmental sources. It does not utilize ‘seasonal adjustments’ (all numbers are year-over-year). It is simply based on real-time U.S. consumer transactions (see http://www.consumerindexes.com/Overview.pdf).

    2) Current real-time consumer tracking data is showing contraction even as the latest GDP release indicates nearly 6% growth. The GDP lags by some 17 weeks both because it measures production activities ‘downstream’ from consumers and because the traditional data requires months to collect and adjust.

    Some of this had been in the news recently (see http://www.consumerindexes.com/Shedlock.pdf).

    However, the latest story is how the current contraction is unfolding. The two most recent prior contractions in 2006 and 2008 behaved very differently. The 2006 contraction was mild and was ignored by the equity markets. The 2008 contraction was neither. The 2010 contraction is tracking its own unique line on a day-by-day basis (see http://www.consumerindexes.com/ContractionWatch.gif).

    We are not professional doom-sayers. We simply report what consumers have been doing on a day by day basis by mining on-line U.S. consumer tracking data for purchases of discretionary durable goods. We were incredibly upbeat one year ago — when most economic indicators were preaching doom and gloom. Since August, however, consumers have been pulling in their spending, and our numbers have slowly turned upside down.

    From our perspective on the demand side of the economy, a contraction is already here, having started officially in the middle of January. The only question now is whether the 2010 contraction will revisit 2006 or 2008? Our daily updates will ultimately tell the story.

    If you would like to contact me for an interview, simply reply to this e-mail. If you are on a tight deadline, call me directly at the Consumer Metrics Institute: (303)656-9801.

    The indexes themselves can be found at http://www.consumerindexes.com.
    FAQS can be reviewed at the http://www.consumerindexes.com/faqs.html.
    RSS news feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ConsumerMetricsInstituteNews
    An E-Mail news feed is available at the following:

    Thank you,

    Richard Davis
    Consumer Metrics Institute, Inc.

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