Last updateTue, 22 Oct 2019 7pm

Leading Economic Indicators Down Second Straight Month

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) went down (0.1%) in September for the second consecutive month. New orders for manufactured goods continued to be a drag on the LEI, with building permits and the interest rate spread also negatively impacting activity in September. However, the strengths among the leading indicators remain slightly more widespread than the weaknesses.

Industrial Production Down 0.4% in September

Industrial production fell back 0.4% in September after advancing 0.8% in August. For the third quarter, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.2% following declines of about 2% in both the first and the second quarters. Manufacturing output fell 0.5% in September but rose at an annual rate of 1.1% in the third quarter.

Small Business Optimism Dips to Six-Month Low

The Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business maintained a historically solid reading, but took a dip in September, falling 1.3 points to 101.8. September’s figure falls within the top 20% of all readings in the Index’s 46-year history. The survey shows no sign of a recession and indicated continued job creation, capital spending, and inventory investment, all consistent with solid, but slower growth. The Uncertainty Index rose 2 points, revisiting high levels of concern. The trade war is impacting many small firms, about 30% recently reported negative impacts from tariffs.

Two Out of Three Economists Say Manufacturing in Recession

According to a poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal, 65.3% of private sector forecasters believe the manufacturing sector is in a recession.

“Economists surveyed by the Journal also said they see the overall economy slowing heading into 2020,” The Hill reports.

Consumer Price Index Unchanged in September

The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.1% in August, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7% before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the indexes for shelter and food were offset by declines in the indexes for energy. The energy index fell 1.4% as the gasoline index declined 2.4%.

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