US leading economic index declines; points to moderate growth ahead


The Conference Board’s US Leading Economic Index fell 0.3% in April to a level of 119.2 (2016 = 100), suggesting moderate growth in the near-term. 

The April dip follows an increase of 0.1% in March. 

“The US LEI declined in April largely due to weak consumer expectations and a drop in residential building permits,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board.

“Overall, the US LEI was essentially flat in recent months which is in line with a moderate growth outlook in the near-term. A range of downside risks — including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and pandemic-related shutdowns, particularly in China — continue to weigh on the outlook.”

However, the Conference Board projects the US economy to resume expanding in the second quarter following the first quarter’s contraction in real GDP, Ozyildirim said.

Despite downgrades to previous forecasts, The Conference Board still forecasts 2.3% growth for full-year 2022.