The U.S. leading index, a key barometer of economic conditions, inched up 0.1 percent in July, the Conference Board reported today.

The leading index now stands at 138.3. Based on revised data, this index increased 1.2 percent in June and remained unchanged in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index increased 1.1 percent, with six out of 10 components advancing.

The leading index increased slightly in July following a sharp increase in June, which keeps it on a slightly rising trend. The leading index has increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate over the last six months, but this is down from a peak of about 10 percent growth at the end of 2003. The strengths among the components of the leading index have become somewhat more widespread in the last two months.

Six of the 10 indicators that make up the leading index increased in July. The positive contributors – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), interest-rate spread, stock prices, building permits, index of consumer expectations, and manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods. The largest negative contributor was vendor performance. The average weekly manufacturing hours held steady in July.

The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased again in July. The coincident index has been increasing at a relatively steady 2.5 percent annual rate since April 2003, and the strength continues to be widespread. At the same time, the growth rate of real GDP has been fluctuating in the 3.5 percent to 4 percent annual rate range over the last year and a half.

The Conference Board is as nonprofit research and business group.


What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription