The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the so-called Philly Fed Index today, putting the index back in positive territory, outside of contraction, for the month of March. Today’s reading came to 2.0, up above up from the -12.5 reading registered in February and above the -5.8 reading in January.
What will stand out today is that Bloomberg and Dow Jones were looking for a negative readings of -1.5 and -2.0, respectively. As a reminder, a reading of less than zero represents contraction while a reading above zero represents growth.
Another report was issued today from the Conference Board showing the leading indicators for the month of February. That showed growth of 0.5%. Bloomberg was calling for a reading of 0.4%, while Dow Jones was looking for a gain of 0.5%. We have always maintained this, but the leading economic indicators are not really all that leading because so much of the data is already known and it has a one-month look back.
Right now the stock market in the U.S. is weak due to all the attention glued to overseas markets. For now, Cyprus remains more important than either the leading indicators or the Philly Fed.