The Leading Economic Index eased up 0.1% to 95.2 for May, according to a Conference Board report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After increasing a revised 0.8% in April, this newest report falls just short of analysts' expectations of 0.2% gains. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index attempts to identify economic turning points by aggregating a variety of indicators. It uses 2004 as a benchmark 100 score, and dropped as low as 78 in 2009, and reached as high as 108 in 2006.
According to Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim, the month's lack of growth points to signs of a "resilient" economy with potential additional 2013 growth, rather than any signs of stagnation. Ken Goldstein, another Conference Board economist, pointed to several economic indicators as necessary pressure points for economic improvement:
Growth will depend on continued improvement in the housing market and an easing of consumer and business caution which would allow overall consumption and investment to gain traction. Cutbacks in public spending programs and the drag from foreign trade remain headwinds. [Links added by author.]