The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. was up 0.7% in February to 95.5 (2004 = 100). This contributes to growth in the sector seen in prior months with a 0.2% increase in January and a 0.5% increase in December. Meanwhile, the Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2% to 104.0 (2004 = 100) and the Lagging Economic Index (LAG) increased 0.2% to 114.1 (2004 = 100).
These figures are reflective of data earlier this month showing those stating jobs are “plentiful” having increased to 6.6% from 6.2%, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 38.7% from 43.3%. Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were last month and those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.7% from 16.7%. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 11.8% from 14.6%.