Building permits among leading indicators

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

Today’s report on the Leading Economic Indicators is good news. It “increased sharply for the second consecutive month in May,” says The Conference Board.

The strong points include some fiscal things, like interest rates and stock prices, but the positive freight-related items were building permits and, more indirectly, vendor performance and consumer expectations.

“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 July 2007, and the strengths among the leading indicators have become balanced with the weaknesses during this period,” says The Conference Board.

— Max Heine