The index of leading U.S. economic indicators fell last month by the most since February 2003 as factory delivery times shortened, reflecting a slowdown in orders, and stock prices declined, a private group said.
The 0.3 percent decrease in the New York-based Conference Board’s gauge of the economy’s likely performance over the next three to six months follows a revised 0.1 percent drop in June. The index last fell in consecutive months in early 2003.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release later its index of manufacturing activity in the region. A decline to 30.0 is forecast for August after a July reading of 36.1, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.
Economists forecast a 0.1 percent decrease in the July index, according to the median of 55 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Forecasts ranged from an increase of 0.3 percent to a decline of 0.4 percent.
Chief executives at some of the fastest-growing U.S. companies were less optimistic about the economy in June than they were in March, a private survey by BSI Global Research Inc. reported Monday.
More than half of them were concerned about “the stability of demand” and the number of those “optimistic about the economy’s prospects over the next 12 months” fell to 76 percent in the second quarter from 81 percent in the first three months of the year.