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First Cut: Leading economic index down for third month in a row in October

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index was down 0.1% in October following a decrease of 0.2% in each of the prior two months. The index continued to reflect weakness in the ISM new orders index.

Five index components were up in October and five were down. The largest negative was from the ISM new orders index followed by a decrease in the workweek and an increase in jobless claims. The negatives were nearly offset by the positives led by an increase in building permits.

The index hasn’t seen any substantive, sustained upward movement for a year as the economy struggles with uncertain trade policy and a slowdown in global growth compared even as the labor market remains strong and consumers are a vital presence with solid spending.


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