Cautious optimism about the US economy continues to be the pattern according to the latest release of the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators. The index rose 0.4% in December, after rising 0.2% in November and 0.6% in October.
In its press release the Board noted:
The gain was widespread among the leading indicators, suggesting economic conditions should improve in early 2012. However, the LEI gain in December was held back by negative contributions from the new Leading Credit Index — which indicates weak credit and financial conditions — and from consumer expectations for business and economic conditions.
The issue going forward is whether or not the US economy can withstand pressure from the continuing debt crisis in Europe and the slower growth of emerging nations’ economies.