US Leading Index Points to More Economic Weakness

24 September 2002

Another week, another survey pointing to the fragility of the US economic recovery.

This time it is the index of leading indicators from the Conference Board, which dropped for the third consecutive month in August to its lowest reading so far in 2002.

The barometer, which gauges economic prospects several months down the line, edged down 0.2 points to 111.8, the same level as in January. Causing the decline were rising unemployment claims, worsening consumer sentiment and falling factory orders.

“We have a number of unusual circumstances driving today's reading, so you shouldn't read too much into it,” warned Ken Goldstein, the Board’s chief economist. “But it isn't good news. It affirms that the risks to the economy are to the downside.”

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff