February Leading Economic Index reached its highest level in over a decade
After six consecutive monthly gains, the U.S. LEI is at its highest level in over a decade. Only housing permits contributed negatively to the LEI in February, reversing gains over the previous two months.
Source: The Conference Board
Consumer sentiment index remained high in early March, although uncertainty could make for cautious spenders
The overall level of consumer sentiment remained quite favorable in early March due to renewed strength in current economic conditions as well as the extraordinary influence of partisanship on economic prospects. Optimism promotes discretionary spending, and uncertainty makes consumers more cautious spenders. This combination will result in uneven spending gains over time and across products.
Source: University of Michigan
Industrial production unchanged in February
Industrial production was unchanged in February following a 0.1 percent decrease in January. At 104.7 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 0.3 percent above its level of a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector declined 0.1 percentage point in February to 75.4 percent, a rate that is 4.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2016) average.
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Job openings rose slightly to 5.6 million in January
The number of job openings rose slightly to 5.6 million on the last business day of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed at 5.4 million and 5.3 million, respectively.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics