Compiled by the Conference Board and published in its monthly Business Cycle Indicators report. Released to public at 10:00 am ET four to five weeks after the end of the record month. www.conference-board.org has historical data and explanations of the methodology behind the indices.
Because the indices' components are all released earlier than the indices themselves, the markets generally don't react strongly to the indicator report.
The individual indicators composing the Leading Economic Index differ considerably in their abilities to predict economic turning points. Some are very far seeing, others relatively near sighted. The composite index combines in such a way that the whole is designed to outperform any of its parts.
The Lagging Economic Index follows downturns in the business cycles by about three months and expansions by about fifteen. This index was designed to confirm turning points in economic activity that were identified by the leading and coincident indices have actually occurred, thus preventing the transmission of false signals.
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