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Monday, April 19, 2010

Leading Indicators Continue to Rise; Substantial Payrolls Boost Coincident Indicator

The steady economic recovery is continuing according to the Conference Board economic indicators released on Monday.

The index of leading economic indicators beat even the most optimistic forecasts and rose 1.4% in March.  Following upward revisions for Jan and Feb,  the surprise surge in March now completes 12 consecutive gains for the index.
The coincident index, which measures the current economic conditions, also rose 0.1% in March. Of the four indicators in the coincident index, the largest positive contribution came from nonfarm payrolls. You'll recall that for March, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy netted 162,000 jobs -- the largest seasonally adjusted increase in three years.

Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist with The Conference Board, highlighted the positive jobs metric: "Payroll employment made its first substantial contribution to the coincident economic index, suggesting a recovery that is beginning to gain traction."

While recovery skeptics remain, it will be difficult for the economic naysayers to find any negative news should the labor market continue its positive momentum toward significant net new jobs in 2010.

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