2012 Economic Calendar
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Leading Indicators  
Released On 5/17/2012 10:00:00 AM For Apr, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Leading Indicators - M/M change0.3 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.3 %-0.1 %

Highlights
Areas of prior strength are turning into areas of new weakness, headlining a surprise 0.1 percent contraction for the index of leading economic indicators. The two biggest negatives in April are building permits, which offer a leading look at the housing sector, and initial jobless claims, which offer a leading look at the jobs market. Permits and claims were strong positives for this report through much of the first quarter. Consumer expectations are April's third biggest negative with weakness here pointing to weakness for consumer spending. The positives in the report are once again led by the spread between short and long rates, a spread made favorable by the Fed's near zero rate policy. Indications on factory orders and credit conditions are also positive. But the positives in this report are starkly overshadowed by the weaknesses, weaknesses which, especially combined with hourly headlines out of Europe, are pointing to risk for the economic outlook.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Conference Board's index of leading indicators gained 0.3 percent in March, following a 0.7 percent boost the prior month. The March index was led, as it often has during the Fed's zero-rate policy, by the spread between short and long rates. But signals outside this factor were also positive especially growth underway in building permits -- which is an important and hopeful signal of badly needed recovery for the housing sector. Current economic growth has been steady, according to the coincident index with gains of 0.2 percent in each of the two latest months.

Definition
The index of leading economic indicators is a composite of 10 forward-looking components including building permits, new factory orders, and unemployment claims. The report attempts to predict general economic conditions six months out.  Why Investors Care
 

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/173/224/195/176/217/198/179/2010/1811/2112/20
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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