Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leading Economic Indicators Rise More Than Expected, But Philly Fed Index Collapses

The March Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.4%, which is less than February's rise but still higher than expectations for +0.2%. February's gain was revised upwards from 0.8% to 1.0%. Six of the ten components were positive in March; one of the four negatives was consumer expectations.

The leading indicators surprised on the upside, but they don't exactly gibe with a collapse of the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index: it plummeted from March's 43.4 to April's 18.5. Expectations were for a drop to 35.5. Although the fall was deep, March's reading was unusually high: its 43.4 was the highest since January of 1984.

Gold, bouncing around in the low 1500s, jumped up only a dollar and a half on the news. Thwarted at $1,505, it bounced around $1,504 before sinking and then recovering. So far, the pit session's been pretty quiet.


  1. Good post on the leading economic indicators, your saving me time for having to look them over myself. In the next few weeks, more companies are going to be releasing earnings, that will be worth following as an indication to the health of the economy.

  2. Glad to help you out, Trin. Earnings season is going to bring some clarity, even if the economics beat prefers confining itself to retail sales. (Corporate profits are complied and announced, but they get far less attention from economy-watchers than retail sales do.)

    Surprisingly, manufacturers have been doing well. There were a lot of manufacturers whose stocks were down in the dumps two years ago that have done great since.