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The US economy softens in April, the leading index shows

The numbers: The US leading index fell 0.3% in April, mainly due to lower housing permits and a decline in consumer confidence, indicating lower growth in the economy in the months ahead.

Economists asked by The Wall Street Journal had predicted a flat reading.

LEI is a weighted meter of 10 indicators designed to show whether the economy is getting better or worse.

Large image: The US economy is in pretty good shape. Consumers still spend a lot of money and companies hire and invest.

Nevertheless, the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates rapidly next year to try to cool inflation, which raises the prospect of a slowdown in the economy.

Key details: A measure of the current economic situation rose 0.4% in April, the conference board said on Thursday. The privately run company is the publisher of the report.

The so-called lagging index ̵[ads1]1; a kind of appearance in the rearview mirror – also increased by 0.4%.

Looking forward: “The [leading index] was largely flat in recent months, which is in line with a moderate growth outlook in the short term, says Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research on the board.

“A number of downside risks – including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions and pandemic-related closures, particularly in China – continue to weigh on the outlook.”

The government estimates that the US will grow 2.3% in 2022, down from 5.6% the year before.

Market reaction: Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
and S&P 500 SPX,
fell again in Thursday trading.

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