The Index of Leading Economic Indicators falls for the third straight month:
The index of leading U.S. economic indicators fell for a third consecutive month in August, suggesting slower economic growth ahead amid rising crude oil prices, a private group said.
“There is concern about weak consumption and the pace of wage and salary increases,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, in a statement. “Consumers worry about their wages and salaries which could limit spending.”
The 0.3 percent decline in the Conference Board’s gauge of how the world’s largest economy will perform over the next three to six months follows a 0.3 percent drop in July and a 0.1 percent decline in June. The index hasn’t fallen in three consecutive months since the first quarter of 2003.
Wage increases over the past year have failed to keep up with inflation. Average hourly wages for production and non-supervisory workers, which account for about 80 percent of the workforce, were up 2.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, according to figures from the Labor Department. Consumer prices rose 2.7 percent over the same period.