Leading Economic Indicator Dips for Second Month

The Confernce Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators dipped for the second month in a row. The March index was 0.1% lower, and this follows a 0.5% decline in February.

April 20 (Bloomberg) — An index of U.S. leading indicators fell for a second month in March, supporting forecasts the pace of economic growth will slow in coming months.

The Conference Board’s index declined 0.1 percent after dropping a revised 0.5 percent in February, the New York-based group said today. The two-month drop was the first since February-March 2001.

The prediction though is that growth will “moderate to a ‘sustainable’ pace” for the rest of the year.

James Hamilton notes that there is also a decline in the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index, and is concerned. He notes that the April retail sales figure is still going up and that mitigates some of this bad news. Still the $2.93/gallon gas (nationally) could still cause some problems for continued economic growth.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Herb says:

    There is no doubt that gasoline prices will continue to slow the economic growth. As long as gasoline prices are high, the average American will stop purchasing everyday items and will have to spend their dollars on gasoline. This trend of decreased spending will continue until the Big Money on Wall Street puts the skids to the oil companies and by the way things are going now with the market, that will Not be very long.

    Also, the party in power will lose everything they have enjoyed for the past eight years if he price of gasoline remains high.

    The entire furore of our economy and the Republican Party will hinge on “The Price of a Gallon of Gas”

  2. RA says:

    So increase our domestic drilling and build more refineries. Who is blocking us from having reasonably priced gas? The environmental wacos that run the Democratic party.

  3. Herb says:


    You are right on target. However the Republicans are in power and could put the screws to the wackos if they had the guts to do it.

    The people put the Republicans in power and yet, they refuse to use the power they were given. That’s why I said previously that the price of a gallon of gasoline will decide which party will have the power after November and decide the entire future of the Republican Party.

  4. Rick DeMent says:

    So increase our domestic drilling and build more refineries. Who is blocking us from having reasonably priced gas? The environmental wacos that run the Democratic party.
    This is simply not true. If environmentalists had that much power they would rule the friggin world.

    Do the math, there is simply not enough domestic oil to be had, nor ins the throughput in the Alaska pipeline enough to move the price of oil. Hell the pipeline was shut down for three day a few years ago due to an earth quake and in those days, when no one knew how long it would take to get the oil flowing again world oil prices not only did not go up, they retreated slightly.

    As far as refineries go the oil companies are simply not stupid, only a complete moron would make a billion dollar investment in a facility that would only serve to reduce the price of a commodity, especially when the oil companies know that crude oil production will start to retreat, if it haven�t already.

    What you all know about oil markets you could put in a thimble. What a bunch of tools.