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First Cut: Higher jobless claims restrain the November rise in the Leading Economic Index

The Conference Board’s November Leading Economic Index was up 0.2% in November from the prior month. The October month-over-month percent change had a fairly substantial downward revision to down 0.3% (previously up 0.1%). The index had generally maintained a strong upward tone for the past year, but the October and November numbers suggest that while the economy’s trajectory is likely to be positive, it may be at a slower pace than much of the past two years.

Seven of 10 components made positive contributions and three were negative. The largest positive contributions were from ISM new orders and building permits. There were also solid contributions from interest rates and consumer expectations. Negative contributions were strongest for initial jobless claims which rose sharply in November, but which are already returning to more normal levels after the natural disasters in October and early November.


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