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First Cut: Dip in January Leading Economic Index reflects partial government shutdown

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for January showed a mild 0.1% decline. The dip can mainly and squarely be placed on impacts from the partial government shutdown which led to a sharp rise in initial jobless claims late in the month — which has since unwound — and cut into consumer confidence about the outlook for six months from now. The decline in the production workweek could also be a knock-on from the shutdown. The three negative contributions were very nearly offset by the positives, particularly for stock prices, new orders, interest rates, and the Conference Board’s Leading Credit Index.

The report included annual revisions, although it was still necessary to estimate some series due to the delays in getting some of the data from the Census Bureau. The Conference Board plans an interim release at 10:00 ET on Monday, March 4 to incorporate the missing data.

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