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Clear Sailing Rest of the Year

us index 2014

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve publishes leading indexes for each of the 50 states and the nation as a whole. Leading indexes are used to discern the future trajectory of the economy. The chart shows the index over the past 30 years.

As you can see, the index works pretty well. The shaded light blue vertical bars show periods when America was in a recession. Each of the previous three recessions were preceded by a substantial drop in the leading index.

The current index reading indicates that economic growth should continue to expand for the next six to nine months at least. Election year campaign rhetoric is about to flood the fruited plains of our country. There will be lots of talk about bad news. This is how politicians get elected. But underneath the rhetoric, the U.S. economy continues its path of slow expansion.

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