Updates On Economic Indicators

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

The April Chicago Fed National Activity Index (pdf) (last updated 4/29/10)

The Consumer Metrics Institute’s Contraction Watch:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

an excerpt dated 4/29/10:

“The April update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows moderate growth in real GDP, at a six-month annualized growth rate, through late summer. The forecasted April growth rate of 3.6% is expected to slow to 3.0% – 3.1% for June through September. Tight credit, high debt burdens and the government’s monetary and fiscal stimulus programs coming to an end will temper consumer spending, keeping the growth rate solid but moderate.”

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index) : Last updated 4/16/10:

The WLI is at 133.0

Fortune’s Big Picture Index:

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

The Dow Jones ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator):

As of 3/31/10 the Indicator was at 39.4.  An excerpt from the release:

“”Although the rise is modest, it is better than the stagnation of recent months,” Alen Mattich, Dow Jones Newswires “Money Talks” columnist, said. “If repeated in April it could indicate that the economy is starting to haul itself slowly upwards again.”

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

Here is the latest chart, updated through 4-24-10:

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

As of April 19, the LEI was at 109.6 for March, and the CEI was at 100.2 for March.  The chart shows a continuing large disparity between the two measures.

From the Press Release: “Adds Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months.  The leading, coincident and lagging series are rising.  Strength of demand remains the big question going forward.  Improvements in employment and income will be the key factors in whether consumers push the recovery on a stronger path.”

“New Financial Conditions Index”

I had a post of this index on 3/10/10.  There is currently no updated value available.


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 1206.26 as this post is written

1 thought on “Updates On Economic Indicators”

  1. In conjunction with this post, I think that a comment I wrote on the March 30 post, shown below, should be taken into consideration:

    “What I find interesting in this data is that it seems to indicate that the rate of economic rebound appears to have peaked. This same indication is seen in many of the economic indicators shown in the March 15 post.

    If it true that we are now off-peak in terms of the rate of economic growth, the pivotal question becomes what will be the going-forward growth rate. As shown in the various economist forecasts that I have posted, most economists (as well as other professionals) are assuming a growth rate consistent with full-year GDP of 3%…i.e. relatively steady growth for the rest of the year.

    However, there are also some who think a “double-dip” or other resumption of weakness is likely.

    Is it possible that the rate of economic activity is already on a faster than anticipated decline? It appears too early to definitively say, based upon this CFNAI and other indicators. However, this possibility is something that I certainly think bears close monitoring as the implications of such could (dependent upon the extent of such weakness) be enormous.”

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