Leading indicators point to slowing U.S. economy and recession in 2023

by user

The numbers: The U.S. leading index fell a sharp 1% in November, extending a downturn that began last spring and points to a weakening economy.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.5% decline.

The LEI is a gauge of 10 indicators designed to show whether the economy is getting better or worse. The report is published by the nonprofit Conference Board.

The index also fell 0.9% in October.

Big picture: The economy is still expanding as the year winds down, but rising interest rates orchestrated by the Federal Reserve to tame high inflation could choke off growth in 2023. Many economists even predict a recession.

Key details: The leading economic index fell last month largely because of higher jobless claims, a sagging housing market and a slowdown in manufacturing.

A measure of current economic condition rose 0.1% in November.

The so-called lagging index — a look of sorts in the rearview mirror — increased by 0.2%.

Looking ahead: “The U.S. LEI suggests the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening cycle is curtailing aspects of economic activity, especially housing,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at the board.

“As a result, we project a U.S. recession is likely to start around the beginning of 2023 and last through mid-year.”

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

and S&P 500

fell in Thursday trades.

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