County Executive  |  Economic Indicators -- Consumer Confidence & LEI's Mixed
   Albemarle County, Virginia

October 31, 2010     

Quarterly Economic Indicators


The Conference Board, a nonprofit organization that tracks business and economic trends, publishes a U.S. Consumer Confidence Index, as well as a set of U.S. Leading Economics Indicators (LEI’s).  The numbers in these data sets offer a general idea about the direction of U.S. macroeconomic trends and, by extension, Albemarle County’s economic prospects.   
Changes in consumer confidence should shadow changes in consumption.  As shown in the graph, consumer confidence dipped by about 2% between FY 10 Q1 and FY 11 Q1.  This drop contrasted with the growth that took place in U.S. GDP between FY 10 Q1 and FY 11 Q1, and a rise in local consumption, as measure by the County’s sales tax revenue.  

The U.S. Leading Economic Indicators, on the other hand, rose by about 7% between FY 10 Q1 and FY 11 Q1.  The LEI’s include items such as weekly manufacturing hours, interest rates, and orders for capital goods.  Interestingly, the improvement in the LEI figures largely outpaced the 4.3% growth in U.S. GDP that took place between FY 10 Q1 and FY 11 Q1.  The 7% increase in the LEI’s, along with the fact that the LEI’s consistently rose between each of the quarters during this time period, suggests that the economic recovery that began at the end of FY 09 Q4 might be somewhat stronger than has been anticipated.             

Click here to review Underlying Data >> Adobe


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