Industry News

Economic growth slows

Leading index falls for fifth consecutive month

The U.S. leading index, a key barometer of economic conditions, fell for the fifth consecutive month in October, The Conference Board reported today. The leading index now stands at 115.1 (1996=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 in October and decreased 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 0.7 percent, with three out of 10 components advancing. The Conference Board said the weakness in recent months has become more widespread. The major contributors to October's decline were the real money supply, the interest rate spread, and consumer expectations. However, the recent declines in the leading index have not been large enough nor have they persisted for long enough to signal an end to the current economic expansion. The coincident index, an index of current economic activity, increased again in October and its growth continues to be widespread. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up slightly...