A report released by the Conference Board on Thursday showed its index of leading U.S. economic indicators increased in line with economist estimates in the month of March.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.3 percent in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in February.
Despite the slowdown in the pace of growth, Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, noted the six-month growth rate points to continued solid growth in the U.S. economy for the rest of the year.
“The strengths among the components of the leading index have been very widespread over the last six months,” Ozyildirim said. “However, labor market components made negative contributions in March and bear watching in the near future.”
The increase by the leading economic index reflects positive contributions from six of the ten indicators that make up the index.
The positive contributors included the interest rate spread, the ISM new orders index, average consumer expectations for business conditions, building permits, the Leading Credit Index, and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials
Negative contributions from average weekly manufacturing hours, average weekly initial jobless claims and manufacturers’ new orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft limited the upside for the index.
The report said the coincident economic index also edged up by 0.2 percent in March after rising by 0.4 percent in February, reflecting positive contributions from all four indicators that make up the index.
The lagging economic index inched up by 0.1 percent in March following a 0.3 percent increase in February, with five of the index’s seven components advancing.