U.S. Leading Economic Index Falls More Than Expected In May

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A report released by the Conference Board on Friday showed its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators fell by more than expected in the month of May.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index decreased by 0.5 percent in May following a 0.6 percent decline in April. Economist had expected the index to dip by 0.3 percent.

Over the six-month period between November 2023 and May 2024, the index slumped by 2.0 percent compared to the 3.4 percent contraction over the previous six months.

"The U.S. LEI fell again in May, driven primarily by a decline in new orders, weak consumer sentiment about future business conditions, and lower building permits," said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board.

"While the Index's six-month growth rate remained firmly negative, the LEI doesn't currently signal a recession," she added. "We project real GDP growth will slow further to under 1 percent (annualized) over Q2 and Q3 2024, as elevated inflation and high interest rates continue to weigh on consumer spending."

The report also said the lagging economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in May following a 0.3 percent increase in April.

Meanwhile, the coincident economic index rose by 0.4 percent in May after inching up by 0.1 percent in the previous month.

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