Leading indicators up for sixth straight month

Key Points
  • The Leading Economic Index rose 0.4 percent in April.
  • This was the sixth straight month of gains for the index, which combines 10 economic metrics to take a pulse on the U.S. economy.
  • The index rose 0.3 percent in March.
Leading economic indicators up 0.4% in April
Leading economic indicators up 0.4% in April

A composite index of leading economic indicators gained for the sixth straight month in April.

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index gained 0.4 percent to 109.4, matching expectations from economists polled by Reuters.

"In April, stock prices and housing permits were the only negative contributors, whereas the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March, improved," said Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board Ataman Ozyildirim.

The measure, which measures 10 key metrics of economic movement, jumped 0.3 percent to 109 in March, which followed a gain of 0.7 percent in February.

The index is used to forecast global economic trends and take checks on the U.S. economy. The Conference Board, a business research association, determines a composite value based on 10 key metrics, including manufacturers' new orders, stock prices and average weekly unemployment claims, to create the composite value.

"April's increase and continued uptrend in the U.S. LEI suggest solid growth should continue in the second half of 2018," Ozyildirim said. "However, the LEI's six-month growth rate has recently moderated somewhat, suggesting growth is unlikely to strongly accelerate."