Suggesting economic growth will remain moderate into next year, the Conference Board released a report on Friday showing a slight uptick by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of August.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index inched up by 0.1 percent in August, while revised data showed no change in July.
Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, said, “Average working hours and new orders in manufacturing have been weak, pointing to more slow growth in the industrial sector.”
“However, employment, personal income and manufacturing and trade sales have all been rising, helping to offset the weakness in industrial production in recent months,” he added.
The modest increase by the leading economic index reflected positive contributions from five of the ten indicators that make up the index.
The positive contributors included the interest rate spread, building permits, the Leading Credit Index, average consumer expectations for business conditions, and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials.
Meanwhile, the upside was limited by negative contributions from stock prices, average weekly initial jobless claims, the ISM new orders index, and manufacturers’ new orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft.
The Conference Board said the coincident economic index also edged up by 0.1 percent in August following a 0.4 percent increase in July.
Positive contributions from non-farm payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, and manufacturing and trade sales were partly offset by a drop in industrial production.
Additionally, the report said the lagging economic index rose by 0.2 percent in August after climbing by 0.3 percent in July.
The increase by the lagging index reflected positive contributions from four of the seven components that make up the index.
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