05242019Fri
Last updateThu, 23 May 2019 6pm

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Leading Economic Indicators Up Slightly in March

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4% in March to 111.9, following a 0.1% increase in February, and no change in January. In March the LEI for the U.S. recorded its largest monthly increase since September of last year. However, its six-month growth has continued to slow in the past several months.

In the six-month period ending March 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.4% (about a 0.7% annual rate), much slower than the growth of 2.8% (about a 5.6% annual rate) during the previous six months.


Manufacturing Production Stable in March

Industrial production edged down 0.1% in March after edging up 0.1% in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3% at an annual rate. Manufacturing production was unchanged in March after declining in both January and February. Manufacturing output moved down at an annual rate of 1.1% in the first quarter. The output of durables edged down in March.

IMF Expects Global Growth to Slow in 2019

The International Monetary Fund expects global growth to slow from 3.6% in 2018 to 3.3% in 2019, according to its latest World Economic Outlook.

After strong growth in 2017 and early 2018, global economic activity slowed notably in the second half of last year, reflecting a confluence of factors affecting major economies. After peaking at close to 4% in 2017, global growth remained strong, at 3.8% in the first half of 2018, but dropped to 3.2% in the second half of the year.

Industrial Production Down Again in March

U.S. industrial production edged down 0.1% in March after edging up 0.1% in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3% at an annual rate. Manufacturing production was unchanged in March, after declining in both January and February, and moved down at an annual rate of 1.1% in the first quarter. The output of durables edged down in March.

Texas Economic Activity Stabilizes, Slower Job Growth Ahead

Output growth in Texas has stabilized after a relatively robust 2018, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Business Outlook Surveys suggest. However, a tight labor market, slowing energy activity and weakening global demand will restrain Texas growth during 2019, an assessment consistent with the Dallas Fed’s outlook for the year.

Texas Business Outlook Surveys (TBOS) data suggest economic growth remains steady but at lower levels than last year when TBOS indexes of economic activity were higher. While growth in manufacturing production and service sector revenue are at long-term averages, retail sales are well below average.

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