Leading economic indicators index rose in October

November 20, 2017 - An economic index that measures business trends increased in October as impacts from a string of catastrophic hurricanes dissipated.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index rose 1.2% to 130.4. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal were expecting the index to rise by 0.9%.

Metrics including average weekly manufacturing hours, building permits and stock prices rose. The only negative contributor was manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft.

Comprising 10 components, including initial claims for jobless benefits, factory orders and the S&P 500’s price change, the index is intended to signal swings in the business cycle and to smooth out some of the volatility of individual indicators.

The growth of index suggests that solid growth in the U.S. economy will continue through the holiday season and into the new year, said Ataman Ozyildirim, The Conference Board’s director of business cycles and growth research.

The board’s coincident index—designed to reflect current economic conditions—rose 0.3% in October from September.

The lagging index increased by 0.2% in October, following no change in September and a 0.2% increase in August.

Source: The Wall Street Journal