Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leading Economic Indicators (July)

The Conference Board:

The leading index declined sharply in July, the second decrease in the index in the past three months. Building permits, stock prices, and weekly initial claims (inverted) made very large negative contributions to the index this month, more than offsetting positive contributions from the interest rate spread and consumer expectations. The six-month change in the index stands at -0.9 percent (about a -1.8 percent annual rate), up from the 3.4 percent annual rate of decline at the end of the first quarter of 2008. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators continue to be very widespread.