By Mark J. Perry: The Conference Board reported today that its Leading Economic Index (LEI), a 10-variable composite index measure that forecasts the future direction of the U.S. economy, increased to 94.1 in January, the highest level for the index since June 2008 (see chart below).
OTTAWA — Despite indications to the contrary, Canada’s economy may actually be chugging along at a steady — if not stellar — pace.
Signs of growth are continuing to appear, according to a leading Canada indicator, and much of that strength is the product of an improving U.S. environment.
The Macdonald-Laurier composite leading index advanced 0.2% in January, following a 0.3% gain in December but still matching increases in the previous three months.
Dr. Stephen Leeb submits:Despite some positive economic news that has come out in recent weeks, one area of the economy that has yet to show real signs of improvement is retail spending. American consumers are still reeling from the near collapse of the U.S. economy, and nearly 10 percent of them don’t have a job (many more if you count partially employed). This raises doubts about the sustainability of the recovery, given that personal consumption accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S.
By Doug Short: A better-than-expected increase of 117,000 jobs was accompanied by a July unemployment rate of 9.1%, down from the previous month's 9.2%. The briefing.com consensus was for 9.2% and its own estimate was a less happy 9.3%. However, the employment-to-population ratio has slipped to a level first seen in March 1953. Here is the lead paragraph from the Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Prieur du Plessis submits: The ECRI Weekly Leading Indicator (WLI) for the week ended July 30 improved for the third consecutive week while the ardently watched ECRI WLI Smoothed Annualized Growth Rate came in at -10.3% compared to the previous week’s -10.7%.