The numbers: The U.S. economy expanded again in October at a moderate pace, according to a survey of leading indicators, but growth is slowing and likely to taper off even further as the coronavirus reasserts itself.
The leading economic index rose 0.7% last month, the Conference Board said Thursday, following an increase of 0.7% in September and 1.6% in August.
What happened: The economy saw further gains in manufacturing, production and hiring in October. Layoffs also fell and the stock market resumed its upward march.
These improvements offset a decline in housing permits and consumer confidence.
The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.
Big picture: The economy has been gradually recovering, but the record wave of coronavirus cases has spurred some cities and states to reimpose restrictions on restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses.
While the lockdowns are much smaller and more targeted compared to last spring, they are likely to retard the recovery from the deepest recession in modern U.S. history. Already there are signs the virus is triggering more layoffs and permanent job lossses.
What they are saying?: “The leading index has been decelerating in recent months, which suggests growth will moderate significantly in the final months of 2020,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at the board. “Furthermore, downside risks to growth from a second wave of COVID-19 and high unemployment persist.”