New Economic Index Debuts On The Downside

Jul 7, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

There’s news – none of it good – from The Conference Board today.

In conjunction with a new index it began issuing today, The Conference Board said that the U.S. economic woes are going to continue and even worsen in the months ahead. This new Employment Trends Index was down in June and is off 8 percent in the last 12 months, standing now at 111.9.

“Most leading indicators of employment point to an even sharper deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. “The steEconomic Trends Chart from The Conference Boardep decline of the employment trends index in recent months, and the fact that its weakness is spread throughout all of its components, does not leave much room for optimism.”

Before introducing the new index, Conference Board economists computed it back to 1973 using data from a variety of sources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor and The Conference Board itself. (For the complete list go here.) According to the Board, the Trends Index “has accurately signaled every rise and fall in employment over the last 35 years.”

Why add yet another index to the dozens already out there? Says The Conference Board, “Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called ‘noise,’ to show underlying trends more clearly.”

There are plenty of indices, measurements, surveys and other bits and bytes of economic data that are published monthly, including several of The Conference Board’s that have been around for years. But The Conference Board’s Trends Index is a new one.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.