Leding Economic Indicators up 1.2% in May!

The Conference Board just reported that:

The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. increased sharply for the second consecutive month in May.... The index rose 1.2 percent (a 2.4 percent annual rate) between November 2008 and May 2009, the first time the index has increased over a six-month period since April 2007....

The Conference Board LEI [,... b]ased on revised data, ... increased 1.1 percent in April and decreased 0.3 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading economic index increased 1.2 percent, with five out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50 percent).

That the LEI are now positive on both a 3 and 6 month basis is a big deal. More later with graphs.

As an additional note, the 4 week moving average of initial unemployment claims continues ever so gradually downward, and perhaps even more importantly, continuing claims have stabilized at ~6.7 million for over a month.

All of this suggests that we are very close to the bottom of the Recession -- I hasten to add, not that things are improving, but at least there is good reason to believe, with the major exception of the unemployment rate, that they won't get significantly worse.

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Back side of the cycle yet to be seen

It's my belief, however, that we're 13 days away from seeing the back side of the deflationary spiral. We've had unemployment, yes. We've seen YoY deflation, yes. But we're about to get hit with the 8th largest national or state economy being forced to lay off government workers July 1. 40 other states in the union will be hitting the same wall the same day.

That shock, WILL push things worse, and Obama's stimulus is too little, too late.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

lordy, lordy

ya know are we gonna have to say that bail out worked?

I just ain't gonna. ;)

I wonder what would have happened with another proposal and not TARP.

The idea of saying that worked, what a precedent.

Robert, you deleted my reply.

That is OK. I will repeat: TARP only helped the financial oligarchy. TARP was a limiting factor on the real stimulus for the economy. Financial conglomerates are still not lending and are contributing very little to this economy and possibly being a drag on it.

oops, sorry!

I was having a glitch (which could be my browser, I am having loading problems with FF) and trying to delete a duplicate of one of my own comments. The system stalled and I must have gotten one of yours too! Sorry.

Hey, I think the TARP is absurd and I question the entire validity of claiming a global financial meltdown by letting a few of these "too big to fail" companies plain fail.

I suspect the economy is trying to recover in spite of itself. but I have no proof, I need statistics to write this up, it's a hypothesis at this point.