The ups and downs of the U.S. economy’s business cycle kept moving in a positive direction for the third month in a row, but growth remains slow, the Conference Board reported Thursday.
According to the board’s leading economic index (LEI) for September, the 10 components of the index showed an overall 0.3% rise in September to a level of 110.4 following a 0.1% increase in August and a 0.2% increase in July.
“More than a year after the recession officially ended, the economy is slow and has no forward momentum. The LEI suggests little change in economic conditions through the holidays or the early months of 2011,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board, in a news release.
LEI’s Most Positive Components: Interest Rates and Jobless Claims
Still, the economy’s upward movement remains sluggish.
“The LEI remains on a general upward trend, but it is growing at its slowest pace since the middle of 2009,” said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim in the release. “There isn’t any indication of a relapse into another downturn through the end of the year.”
Since early this year, the LEI has circled around a tight range from a low of 109.5 in spring to September’s high of 110.4. The index’s base level of 100 was set in 2004.
Five of the 10 indicators that make up the LEI increased in September. The positive contributors, beginning with the largest contributor, were the interest rate spread, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance, real
money supply, stock prices, and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials.