The numbers: The U.S. economy appeared to stabilize just before the holiday season after a late-summer swoon, according to an index that measures the nation’s health.
The leading economic index was flat in November, breaking a string of three straight declines, the Conference Board said Thursday.
What happened: Big stock-market gains, improved consumer confidence and stronger home sales reflected a firming up in the economy last month. They offset some weakness in labor markets and manufacturing.
The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.
Big picture: The U.S. economy has slowed to a modest pace of growth, but talk of recession has faded. A series of interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the Trump administration’s agreement with China to ratchet down trade tensions has bolstered consumer confidence and driven the U.S. stock market to fresh records.
Economists predict more of the same for early 2020.
What they are saying?: “While the six-month growth rate of the [index] remains slightly negative, the Index suggests that economic growth is likely to stabilize around 2% in 2020,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the board.