August economic indicators signal weak growth (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The economy should exhibit "continued weak growth" through the fall and winter, the Conference Board said Thursday as it reported that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.3% in August, compared with a 0.1% gain expected by economists polled by MarketWatch. "There is growing risk that sustained weak confidence could put downward pressure on demand and business activity, causing the economy to potentially dip into recession," said Ken Goldstein, a Conference Board economist, in a statement. "While the chance of that happening remains below 50-50, the odds have certainly increased in recent months." The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators that are designed to signal business cycle peaks and troughs. Among the 10 indicators that make up the LEI, four made positive contributions in August, led by the real money supply. The largest negative contribution came from stock prices. The LEI for July was revised to 0.6% from a prior estimate of 0.5%.