Every month the LEI (Leading Economic Indicator) is released. It is a compilation of 10 different economic indicators and its purpose is to gauge the future direction of the economy. A negative reading suggests that the economy will be struggling 3 to 6 months in the future. The indicator has fallen from being a strong number a few months ago to now showing weakness. For the month of August it was -.2% and for September -.1%.
The direction is the worry. It has been falling for some time. If it does not turn up after three months in a row a trend has set in and that clearly indicates an economy is contracting. We know that the factory sector of our economy is in a recession, but the consumer is still healthy even though spending has slowed.
The U.S. is starting to feel the pinch of an economy that is slowing. How much is the big question.