A report released by the Conference Board on Friday showed its index of leading U.S. economic indicators registered the largest decline in its 60-year history in the month of March.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index plunged by 6.7 percent in March after dipping by a revised 0.2 percent in February.
Economists had expected the index to plummet by 7.0 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
“The unprecedented and sudden deterioration was broad based, with the largest negative contributions coming from initial claims for unemployment insurance and stock prices,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.
He added, “The sharp drop in the LEI reflects the sudden halting in business activity as a result of the global pandemic and suggests the US economy will be facing a very deep contraction.”
The reported said the coincident economic index slumped by 0.9 percent in March after rising by 0.3 percent in February, while the lagging economic index tumbled by 1.2 percent following a 0.3 percent increase.
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