6th Straight Monthly Increase in Leading Indicators; Largest 6-Month Gain Since 1983; Recession's Over
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gauge of the U.S. economy's prospects rose for a sixth-straight month in September to a two-year high (see chart above), a private research group said on Thursday, suggesting the U.S. recovery was building steam.
The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 1% to 103.5, the highest level since October 2007. It said the sixth month growth rate for the index was at its highest pace since 1983. "These numbers strongly suggest that a recovery is developing," Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said in a statement. "However, the intensity of that recovery will depend on how much, and how soon, demand picks up.
MP: The chart below displays the monthly change in the Leading Economic Index back to 2004, showing that the last time there were six consecutive monthly increases was in mid-2004, more than 5 years ago. On a percentage basis, the 5.72% March-September increase is the largest half-year gain since August of 1983, more than 26 years ago. Further, the unadjusted 5.6 point gain from 97.9 in March to 103.5 in September is the largest six-month gain in Conference Board history going back to 1959.