Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leading Economic Indicators Point to Worsening Economy

Conference Board:

The leading index continued to fall in November, due mainly to large declines in building permits, stock prices, and initial unemployment claims, which offset the continued positive contributions from real money supply (M2) and the yield spread. Without the very large increases in inflationad justed money supply since September, the leading index would have been significantly weaker. The six-month change in the leading index has continued to fall -- to -2.8 percent (a -5.6 percent annual rate) in the period through November, down from -0.9 percent (a -1.7 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained widespread in recent months.