Updates On Economic Indicators February 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 February Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)(pdf) updated as of February 24, 2011:

The Consumer Metrics Institute Contraction Watch:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

An excerpt from the January 24 Release, titled “Economic index forecasts stronger growth”  :

“The January update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows real GDP growth, at a six-month annualized growth rate, gaining momentum this year. The index forecasts a growth rate of 3.7% in March and April, up from 2.1% in September. 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 2/11/11 the WLI was at 129.5 and the WLI, Gr. was at 4.9%.  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 January 31 was at 46.9, as seen below:

An excerpt from the January 31 Press Release:

“With a gain of just under one point in January, the Dow Jones Economic Sentiment Indicator signaled that the U.S. economy is slowly pulling itself out of the recession. The ESI edged up from 46.1 in December to 46.9 in January, consolidating a positive 2.2 point gain in December.

“Fears of a double dip recession have fallen off the radar, but reporting about the economy is still short of the optimism we ought to be seeing at this stage, were this a normal expansion. This muted sentiment mirrors the lackluster trend in employment growth,” said Dow Jones Newswires “Money Talks” columnist Alen Mattich.”

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

Here is the latest chart, depicting 2-19-09 to 2-19-11:

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

As per the February 17 release, the LEI was at 112.3 and the CEI was at 102.1 in January.

An excerpt from the February 17, 2011 Press Release:

“Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board:  “The economy gained some momentum in late fall, and the latest data suggest that trend will continue.  The cumulative change in the U.S. LEI over the last six months is a sharp 3.0 percent, signaling continued expansion.”


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.

A Special Note concerning our economic situation is found here

SPX at 1306.10 as this post is written