The U.S. Leading Index of Economic Indicators declined sharply in July, the second decrease in the last three months, according to the latest report from The Conference Board.
After stabilizing in March and April, the leading index has reverted to the downward trend that began in the middle of 2007. This index declined 0.7 percent in July and now stands at 101.2. The weaknesses among its components have remained widespread in recent months, according to the research firm. Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in June and decreased 0.1 percent in May.
The coincident index, a measuring of current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in July to 106.8, after remaining unchanged in June and declining 0.2 percent in May. Industrial production contributed positively to the index for the second consecutive month in July, while employment has continued to decline.
The lagging index increased 0.4 percent in July and now stands at 112.1 in July, with four of the seven components advancing. Based on revised data, the lagging index remained unchanged in June and decreased 0.2 percent in May.
“The current behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the risks for further economic weakening in the near term remain elevated,” The Conference Board said in its report.