When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leading Indicators Rise Two Months In A Row

As you might expect, it was quite an under-reported event last Thursday when the Conference Board released its report of economic indicators.

Why was it under-reported? Because the data actually surprised analysts when it came in with a key positive number for the month of January. The Index Of Leading Economic Indicators for the second month in a row showed an increase in economic activity.

The Conference Board on Thursday said that its January index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent. The majority of economists surveyed had expected no change in the index.

The index forecasts economic activity for the next three to six months based on 10 economic components. This is also the first time since the big chill in October that 5 of 10 economic components have turned positive.

What was no surprise was that the single biggest boost to the index was the real money supply as the Fed continues to pump more money in circulation. Other factors that increased in January included: the interest rate spread, an index of consumer expectations, and manufacturing orders for non-defense and consumer goods.

In December the index had increased 0.2 percent following a drop of 0.7 percent in November.

More current data is out this week and it will likely show -- much like the Conference board -- that the intensity of this recession is indeed easing.

Conference Board economists (like many others) see a return to growth in the second half of 2009 and solid growth in 2010.


  1. OK now how do we get this information to the masses so they know what's really happening out there? I'd like to hear from anyone who has made attempts to spread the news on this site and what you did. I will do my best as well. Thanks again GNE!

  2. Thank Madsen,

    I too would like to hear of any successes and I will highlight the best techniques in an upcoming article...

    One of the best ways that I can think of is using the "share" button... if you hover over it you will see about 10 social networks to choose from... if you click you will see over 50 networks to which you can share this article... the best that I've found that will really help to share the good news are reddit, facebook, buzz, digg, but if other find networks that really work, please comment here... thanks again Madsen!

  3. The press seems consumed with the lower than expected "revised" GDP numbers for 4th quarter 2008. Can we expect the 1st quarter 2009 GDP number to be better given the good news you are reporting?

  4. I will check out the SHARE button and other ideas. In the meantime I have emailed a link to your site to many friends, family, and business contacts with a suggestion to pass it on. What I would really like is to share it with as many mainstream news journalists and editors so they can see the contrast in what they choose to report---and how what they do is not helping.

  5. Madsen: I don't think journalists ae interesting in reporting the good news. Large "biggest drop in 50 years: headlines sell more papers than a timid "5 out of 10 indicators now positive". None will stick their neck out.

    In time the herd will see the truth - I don't see a need to try to push the herd.

    True investors don't see a great need to "push" the good news. The panic provides bargains that, in their due time years from now, will pay off for them.

    I'm very happy that Mr. Mast is doing this however. Always an uplifter.

  6. I have started a group on facebook and I will post positive economic stories only and links to this and other positive web site. My next step is to creat a list to my local news agencies and send them these stories as well.

    Forever hopeful,

    Kathy Windsor

  7. I share this information on a regular basis with my team at work, and anyone else who either spreads bad news, expresses concern or becomes cynical.

  8. I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!


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