Updates Of Economic Indicators May 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 May 2018 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of May 21, 2018:

The CFNAI, with current reading of .34:

CFNAI_5-21-18 .34

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, May 21, 2018;


The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .46:


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, May 21, 2018;


The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of May 18, 2018 (incorporating data through May 11, 2018) the WLI was at 148.7 and the WLI, Gr. was at 4.3%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of May 18, 2018:

ECRI WLI,Gr. Since 2000 4.3 Percent

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

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through May 12, 2018:

ADS Index

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

As per the May 17, 2018 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in April” (pdf) the LEI was at 109.4, the CEI was at 103.5, and the LAG was 104.7 in April.

An excerpt from the release:

“April’s increase and continued uptrend in the U.S. LEI suggest solid growth should continue in the second half of 2018. However, the LEI’s six-month growth rate has recently moderated somewhat, suggesting growth is unlikely to strongly accelerate,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “In April, stock prices and housing permits were the only negative contributors, whereas the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March, improved.”

Here is a chart of the LEI from Doug Short’s Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of May 17, 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 2734.29 as this post is written