LEI Has Solid Gain in March Atop Upward Revision in February

Summary The leading economic index increased again in March rising 0.3% over the month, while February’s monthly gain was revised up to 0.6% from 0.3%. Sinking consumer expectations essentially netted out a boost from the interest rate spread, but overall strength was broad-based. Jobless claims reached an over 50-year low last month and rose back into the upper echelon of contributors, however, between continued supply headwinds and the onset of monetary policy tightening, we expect slower growth ahead. Downtrodden Consumers Limit Growth The leading economic index gained again in March, rising 0.3% over the month, while February’s monthly gain was revised up to 0.6% from 0.3%. The index continued to be supported by the interest rate spread (10-year Treasury bond yield minus the fed funds rate), which contributed 0.24 percentage points (pp) last month, but the positive effect was essentially zeroed out by a -0.26pp contribution from consumer expectations. While the 0.3% monthly gain on the heels of February’s upward revision indicates the economy is still steaming ahead, continued supply headwinds and monetary policy tightening set the stage for slower growth over the next few months. READ FULL ARTICLE>>