From the Conference Board report today (here
"The Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased for a third consecutive month in July (see chart above). Gains in the financial components and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted) offset the large negative contributions from vendor performance and consumer expectations. In the six-month period ending July 2011, the leading economic index increased 2.9 percent (about a 6.0 percent annual rate), slightly slower than the growth of 3.2 percent (about a 6.5 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses recently.
Six of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. increased in July. The positive contributors – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were real money supply, the interest rate spread, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), stock prices, manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods, and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials. The negative contributors – beginning with the largest negative contributor – were the index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance), the index of consumer expectations, and building permits. Average weekly manufacturing hours held steady in July."
Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board, said: “The U.S. LEI continued to increase in July. However, with the exception of the money supply and interest rate components, other leading indicators show greater weakness – consistent with increasing concerns about the health of the economic expansion. Despite rising volatility, the leading indicators still suggest economic activity should be slowly expanding through the end of the year.”
The Conference Board also reported that the Coincident Economic Index increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index increased 0.2 percent in July.