Leading indicators up in May, still short of expectations

Key Points
  • The Leading Economic Index rose 0.2 percent in May.
  • The index was expected to rise 0.4 percent.
  • This would be the seventh straight month of gains for the index, which combines 10 economic metrics to check on the U.S. economy.
A customer browses women's jewelry at the Macy's flagship store in New York.
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The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index increased 0.2 percent in May, short of economists' expectations.

The index was expected increase 0.4 percent in May, according to economists polled by Reuters.

May's increase marks the seventh month of gains, after jumping 0.4 percent to 109.4 in April.

"While May's increase in the U.S. LEI was slower than in recent months, the improvements in a majority of its components offset the declines in leading indicators of labor markets and residential construction," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. "The U.S. LEI still points to solid growth but the current trend, which is moderating, indicates that economic activity is not likely to accelerate."

The measurement is used to forecast global economic trends and keep tabs 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.