Leading Economic Index Signals End of Recession
The Conference Board's leading indicators index bottomed in March after peaking in July 2007 (see chart above). The decline accelerated last fall after investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed and credit markets froze.
"We're now getting data which points to stabilization," said Josh Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at research firm MFR Inc. "The overall signal they're sending is the slide in economic activity is poised to end. The jury is still very much out in terms of what happens after that."
MP: The three consecutive increases in the second quarter (April, May and June) of 2009 is the first time in four years of three straight monthly increases in the Index of Leading Economic Indicators. And the 3.06% three-month increase in the Leading Index from March (97.9) to June (100.9) 2009 is the largest percentage increase for a three-month period since the 3.44% increase from October 2001 to January 2002 at the tail end of the 2001 recession. There was a similar 2.65% three-month increase from April to July of 1991 that signalled the end of the 1990-1991 recession. It sure looks like the Leading Economic Index is suggesting that the recession is over.