Index of Leading Economic Indicators Rises

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Index rose 0.9% in October, outpacing increases in the previous two months and providing some grounds for hope of more robust economic growth to come.

The index, comprised of 10 components, is intended to signal economic trends by taking a comprehensive look at the data. This month, nine out of 10 indicators were positive. The increase was sharply higher than those in September and August -- which came in at only 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively -- and beat a forecast complied by Bloomberg, whose survey of 56 economists came up with a median prediction of 0.6%.

In a press release, a Conference Board economist explained that the October rebound of the LEI was "largely due to the sharp pick-up in housing permits," which "suggests that the risk of an economic downturn has receded." But Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo (WFC), told DailyFinance that some of the increase in construction activity could be due simply to the seasonal adjustment process, rather than a genuine economic upturn. "We have to look at that particular increase with a grain of salt," Khan said.

Still, Khan said the index's increase "continues to suggest an economy that is growing," even if "the pace of the economic growth remains very sluggish." She noted that the one negative indicator, supplier deliveries, only lost one tenth of a percentage point.

Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group, was somewhat skeptical about the index's import, saying, "There's nothing really all that surprising with the increase. If you follow what the leading economic indicators tell you, you have some idea that we've had a positive string of economic news. And this simply confirms it."

While allowing that the index "does suggest that the economic outlook has begun to brighten a little bit," Baumohl spoke ominously about events not reflected in the data: the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, political paralysis in Washington, and rising tensions in the Middle East concerning Iran's nuclear program. "If you superimpose all these risks, threats, and shocks," Bauhmohl said, "then you really have to be very careful about how you forecast what's going to happen to the U.S. economy and the financial markets in the next six months. There's just too much geopolitical risk out there for us to say with any conviction that it looks like the worst is over, the economy is coming back, and everyone should take more risks in their investments."

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Hey!! Things are really looking up for the wealthy and the corporations in October!

November 20 2011 at 11:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This is an example of our governments propaganda machine hard at work. The economy is NOT improving at all. It is actually doing just the's getting worse. We are dealing with the most clandestine and deceptive government in the history of our country. Read the two articles that were wriiten THIS WEEK.

November 19 2011 at 7:55 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Only in the febble minds of the present administration. Actually, it is febble mindedness and lies on their part just more of the same from this bunch of crooks living it up on the backs of AMERICANS.

November 19 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Only if you're a mindless left wing liberal loon with no connection to reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

November 19 2011 at 7:43 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to goatcars2's comment

speaking of mindless neocons, who drink the fox koolaid.....

November 19 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to grgriff98's comment

I thought it was all Bush's fault not Fox's. You guys really heed a boogeyman bad all the time don't you? I didn't see your Messiah down on Wall Street crapping on cars with you. How's that hopey, changey thing working pout for you now that your tent hs been thrown away and you are living on the street once again?

November 19 2011 at 1:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down

Don't get your info from liberal media and websites. They lie.

November 20 2011 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 19 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Wayne Chandler

big fu@ken deal

November 19 2011 at 7:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 19 2011 at 4:35 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

$15 Trillion in debt. No one should be smiling.

November 19 2011 at 1:35 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to szab0413's comment


November 19 2011 at 7:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Economic indicators improve - I don't believe it - The government is lying again - Housing & Financing crisis continues - The wars are still draining us financially - Unemployment gets worse - No jobs being created - Gasoline may go up to $5.00 gallon - Who's kidding who?
Claude DeMoss
San Jose CA

November 19 2011 at 12:34 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Please dont print or tell any improvement, the GOP will see it and figure out some way to kill it... Really the month of October and November and December and maybe Jan. should show some growth, its the holidays and people will spend some money, regardless of how broke they are.. Plus hiring for holiday jobs, so this isnt a surprise, if you think about it!! Iam an Indenpendent voter and try and tell it like it is! Facts are no matter who got elected in Nov. 2008, the country would be going thru this, W. Bush almost killed this country and it just cant be fixed real quick!! Plus the stupid congress, keeps killing it... There are rough roads ahead no matter whos president and it will be Obama, come on Really does anyone truly think anyone of the 8 stooges on the GOP side can win!!! Plus who truly wants anyone of them, there base doesnt truly want anyone of them !!! But i will say if congress can get there act together, i think Obama will make alot of progress, by 2016, plus i feel, out of all of them, he comes closest to really caring about the average/working/middle class person!!!! There are bad in the Dems as well and they need to go also, but to me the GOP is in your face almost daily, with there crap, like we are stupid enough to believe it !!

November 18 2011 at 11:23 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mailman778's comment

YOUR Inept Pres. and Dem. party should crap or get off the pot on that oil line from Canada to Texas. He's scared to make the move because he's trying to see which would be the more popular move for HIM not America. Canada said if he doesn't decide soon they'll go to China with it .He didn't learn nor do I think he will from his last lesson on energy. No make that the last two. Solyndra and not allowing drilling in the gulf again. That cost America thousands and thousands of jobs

November 18 2011 at 11:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Hiring for the holidays.....those same holidays that odumbo is trying with all his might to stop or make out like islam is better???? Also, what jobs is odumbo bringing to AMERICA???? He is in indonesia giving them the jobs of building airplanes, so just how is this going to help AMERICA again???? You mailman, should really read more than just the BS that is being put out be odumbo and his crooks that are destroying OUR COUNTRY from the inside. odumbo has made NO bones about how much he hates AMERICA, and NOW he is going around telling how lazy AMERICANS are. AMERICANS aren't lazy, it is our STUPID fake president that is lazy and not really an AMERICAN at all, and KNOWS NOTHING about OUR COUNTRY, so he just tells the lies he has been taught by his islam-muslim brotherhood.

November 19 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply