Leading Index for Indiana

Updated monthly, the Leading Index for Indiana™ (LII) was developed for Hoosier businesses and governments to provide a signal for changes in the general direction of the Indiana economy. In contrast to The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index and other national indexes, the LII focuses on key sectors that are important to the Indiana economy. Learn more about the index »

LII Value 101.1
Change from Previous Month 0%
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Index for April 2014

The Leading Index for Indiana (LII) continued its ambivalence in April, satisfied to stay even with last month’s revised reading of 101.1.

View data | Downloadable 13-month graph

Note: Hover over the lower graph and move the slider to change the time period displayed.

The gains in the index components for manufacturing and transportation were not sufficient to move the index upward given that the other components were slightly lower or essentially unmoved.

While the National Federation of Independent Business usually plays the role of Eeyore, no matter what direction the LII moves, their Index of Small Business Confidence rose 2 percentage points, mostly reversing last month’s decline but failing once again to breach the 95 ceiling that has capped the index during the recovery. Six of the index components improved, two were unchanged, and two were lower. The net percent of owners planning to create new jobs did fall 2 points but remained positive, even if weak.

The Conference Board and PwC Measure of CEO Confidence™ further improved in the first quarter of 2014. The measure now reads 63, up from 60 in the previous quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses), and is at a two-year high. CEOs were more positive about short-term growth prospects in the U.S. and Europe, but less positive about prospects for Japan and emerging markets. Expectations for their own industries are more upbeat, with 52 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead. CEOs are again rating conditions in China as unfavorable and remain pessimistic regarding India and Brazil.

Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in March after having advanced 1.2 percent in February. The rise in February was higher than previously reported primarily because of stronger gains for durable goods manufacturing and for mining. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production moved up at an annual rate of 4.4 percent, just slightly slower than in the fourth quarter of 2013. At 103.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in March was 3.8 percent above its level of a year earlier.

Is the economy heating up and will the Federal Reserve become more aggressive with the taper—and with that, potentially stall the housing market recovery? The Fed and its new Chair, Janet Yellen, have to read conflicting signals. Economic slack is disappearing based on 3 labor market indicators of temporary help services hiring, firms unable to fill job openings and a 4-week moving average of initial unemployment claims. But then again, another measure of economic slack—the U6 and U3 gap—remains well above levels experienced before the recession. (The measure U3 is the standard measure of the unemployment rate (lowered by falling labor participation rates), and U6 is total unemployed that includes those employed part-time for economic reasons, i.e., not part-time by choice.)

Drivers of Change

Data Revisions

The historical series for the LII reflects regular monthly revisions in source data. Users that analyze historical trends in the LII are encouraged to update the entire data series to eliminate discontinuities in the data.

Source: Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

More Indicators to Watch
LII Release Schedule
  • May 2014: 5/20/2014
  • June 2014: 6/20/2014
  • July 2014: 7/21/2014
  • Aug 2014: 8/22/2014
  • Sep 2014: 9/22/2014
  • Oct 2014: 10/21/2014
  • Nov 2014: 11/21/2014
  • Dec 2014: 12/18/2014