The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. Increased in October
Conference Board News Release
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. rose 0.9% in October to 105.2, following a 0.7% increase in September.
“The upward trend in the LEI points to continued economic growth through the holiday season and into early 2015,” says Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board. “This is consistent with our outlook for relatively good, but not great, consumer demand over the near term. Going forward, there are continued concerns about slow business investment and lackluster income growth.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1% in October to 110.2, following a 0.3% increase in September. The Lagging Economic Index for the U.S. declined 0.1% in October to 124.9, following a 0.1% increase in September.
Fewer Than 300,000 Americans File Jobless Claims for 10th Week
(11/20/14) Victoria Stilwell; Michelle Jamrisko
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended Nov. 15 fell by 2,000 to 291,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It was the 10th consecutive week with claims lower than 300,000, which hasn’t happened since 2000. The 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast claims of 284,000. The four-week moving average of new claims rose by 1,750 to 287,500.
October Consumer Prices Flat; Core CPI up 0.2%
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Falling energy prices tempered inflation in October for the fourth consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The consumer price index was unchanged after rising 0.1% in September. Economists had forecast a 0.1% decline. Prices have risen 1.7% over the past year.
The core CPI, which measures prices for all items except food and energy, has risen 1.8% over the past year. Excluding the energy and food categories, prices rose 0.2% following a 0.1% increase in September.
Low Inflation Replaces Joblessness as Reason Fed Won’t Raise Rates
New York Times
(11/20/14) Binyamin Appelbaum
Economic and job growth have been unusually steady and those trends are expected to continue, but U.S. Federal Reserve officials indicated that the slow pace of inflation may replace unemployment as the main reason for not raising interest rates, according to the minutes from the Fed’s October meeting. Policymakers indicated that financial conditions remain “highly accommodative,” and in post-meeting statements said that the central bank will keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time,” with some suggesting that rates could rise in mid-2015.
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