Economy shows signs of recovery

The Conference Board's monthly report on economic indicators is out, with some rays of sunshine.

By Jim Van Meerten Dec 22, 2009 10:48AM
Every month, I look forward to the Conference Board's report on economic indicators. Throughout the month, I read conflicting reports on the health of the economy, and I really get confused. When I watch TV, sometimes it seems like the same economist gives a different view on two different channels. I don't know what to believe.

The reason I like the Conference Board's report is that it is very simple. It has just 21 indicators broken into 3 groups, and it has not changed format in years. This month the results are:
  • Leading economic indicators rose by 0.9% with 6of 10 indicators increasing. Consumer expectations was the biggest downer.
  • Coincident economic indicators rose by 0.2%. with 3 of 4 indicators increasing. Good news was that employment was even without a negative figure.
  • Lagging economic indicators are still negative with only 2 of the 7 indicators positive. Consumer and industrial loans are still a problem.

This month we are positive overall with 11 of 21 indicators positive. Does this mean the recession is over? No, but it seems to have hit the bottom of the trough, and the daylight at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

When I look at the report I know that my plans to invest in the market have some backing from the economy. Let's get this party started.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters. Please leave a comment below or email JimVanMeerten@gmail.com.
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