U.S. leading economic indicators fall in January, some components estimated

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The index of U.S. leading economic indicators declined 0.1 percent in January, the Conference Board said on Thursday, but it advised that some of the components of the index were estimated due to the government shutdown.

“Due to the recent government shutdown, data for three U.S. LEI components – manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials, manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft and building permits – were not available for several of the recent months,” the Conference Board said in its release.

It said it had used ‘statistical imputations’ to fill in the missing data in order to release a preliminary report. It said it would issue an interim release on March 4, once the government data was published.

A number of economic data releases have been delayed due to the five-week government shutdown which ended on Jan. 25.

The Conference Board also said the index for December was revised to unchanged. It had been reported as having declined 0.1 percent. The January data also included annual benchmark revisions, it said.

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