Despite a sharp downturn in stock markets and weakness in housing construction, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.6 percent following a 0.8 percent increase in January. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3 percent.
“The LEI points to robust economic growth throughout 2018. Its six-month growth rate has not been this high since the first quarter of 2011,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board.
He added, “While the Federal Reserve is on track to continue raising its benchmark rate for the rest of the year, the recent weakness in residential construction and stock prices – important leading indicators – should be monitored closely.”
The Conference Board said the coincident economic index rose by 0.3 percent, while the lagging economic index increased by 0.4 percent.