Updates Of Economic Indicators March 2018

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

The March 2018 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of March 26, 2018:

The CFNAI, with current reading of .88:

CFNAI_3-26-18 .88

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, March 26, 2018;


The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .37:

CFNAIMA3_3-26-18 .37

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, March 26, 2018;


The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of March 23, 2018 (incorporating data through March 16, 2018) the WLI was at 149.5 and the WLI, Gr. was at 5.5%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of March 26, 2018:


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

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through March 17, 2018:

ADS Index

The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):

As per the March 22, 2018 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in February” (pdf) the LEI was at 108.7, the CEI was at 103.3, and the LAG was 104.3 in February.

An excerpt from the release:

“The U.S. LEI rose again, despite a sharp downturn in stock markets and weakness in housing construction in February,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The LEI points to robust economic growth throughout 2018. Its six-month growth rate has not been this high since the first quarter of 2011. While the Federal Reserve is on track to continue raising its benchmark rate for the rest of the year, the recent weakness in residential construction and stock prices – important leading indicators – should be monitored closely.”

Here is a chart of the LEI from Doug Short’s Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of March 22, 2018:

Conference Board LEI


I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site 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 2641.88 as this post is written