U.S. Leading Indicators Fall in April

The U.S. economy may be slowing

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.1% in April to 95.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.3% increase in March, and a 0.7% increase in February.

The fall in the LEI,coupled with the bad news from Europe,led to a fifth day of falling stock market values.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board;

“The LEI declined slightly in April. Falling housing permits, rising initial claims for unemployment insurance and subdued consumer expectations offset small gains in the remaining components.  The LEI’s six-month growth rate fell slightly, but remains in expansionary territory and well above its growth at the end of 2011. The CEI, a measure of current economic conditions, has also increased for five consecutive months.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The indicators reflect an economy that’s still struggling to gain momentum. Growth is slow, but choppy, and consumers, executives and investors are looking for more progress.”