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The U.S. Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) continued its downward trend in April, dropping 0.6% to 107.5. This follows a decrease of 1.2% in March and brings the index’s six-month change to -4.4%. 

This is the 13th consecutive month the index has declined, which suggests deteriorating economic conditions in the months ahead. 

“Weaknesses among underlying components were widespread — but less so than in March’s reading, which resulted in a smaller decline,” said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager of Business Cycle Indicators at The Conference Board. “Only stock prices and manufacturers’ new orders for both capital and consumer goods improved in April.”

The U.S. Coincident Economic Index inched up 0.3% to 110.2 in April, and the index has increased 0.7% over the past six months. Among the CEI’s component indicators, employment and income growth have stayed strong, but manufacturing activity and industrial production have been weakening.

The Lagging Economic Index edged down 0.1% to 118.3 in April, bringing the index’s six-month change down to +0.9%.

“The LEI continues to warn of an economic downturn this year,” Zabinska-La Monica added. “The Conference Board forecasts a contraction of economic activity starting in Q2 leading to a mild recession by mid-2023.”