Friday, March 19, 2010

Leading Economic Indicators Point to Slowing Recovery

Missed this yesterday as my mind was elsewhere (think hoops). Businessweek detailed:

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose 0.1 percent in February, the smallest gain in almost a year, pointing to an economy that may expand at a slower pace in the second half of 2010.

A pickup in manufacturing in the last half of 2009 that helped spearhead the recovery has prompted companies to slow the pace of job cuts. Stronger economic growth hinges on employment gains that have yet to occur, one reason Federal Reserve policy makers this week kept interest rates near zero.

“We don’t expect this to be an especially strong recovery,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, who accurately forecast the LEI increase. At the same time, “growth is still positive,” he said, and the index “is still consistent with a gradual economic recovery.”