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First Cut: Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index flat in May

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index was flat in May after a scant 0.1% increase in April. Five components made positive contributions, three were negative, and two were neutral.  The largest gains were in consumer confidence and the Conference Board’s Leading Credit Index, and for manufacturing new orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft. The largest negative was from stock prices and the ISM new orders index.

The index has not regained a sustained upward trend since the signs of a slowdown in the economy emerged in late 2018. Growth appears to be on a flat-to-slightly higher track well below the readings seen in the first half of 2018.

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