Conference board report on us economic indicators

The Conference Board Composite Indices are released periodically on a monthly basis by the Conference Board. The non-profit organization has been existence for the past 90 years and their indices have greatly valued by businesspersons around the globe for their relevance in presenting and predicting market dynamics. The data used for computing the indices for February is collected up to 12.00pm of 18th March 2009. Composite Indices are computed via five steps which include: monthly data are calculated for every component of the Composite index, any changes are incorporated to compute growth rates, monthly volatilities are ascertained, indices are calculated using symmetric change formula and rebased to an average of 100 using 2004 as the base year (Conference Board, 2009).

Review of the Composite Indices
1. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI)

The LEI decreased by 0.4% this February after having dropped by 0.1 % in both January 2009 and December 2008.  The leading economic index for February is 98.5(2004=100) against 99.5(2004=100) for January 2009 a one point decline over the period. From August 2008 to February 2009, the LEI dropped by 2.1% compared to a 1.6% decline during the six months to August 2008. This declining trend began way back in July 2007 few months before the beginning of recession.

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)

The CEI index fell further this February by 0.4% after declining by 0.6% and 0.7 % in January 2009 and December 2008 respectively. The February Coincidence Economic Index stood at 102.5(2004=100) down from 103.3(2004=100) in January recording a 0.8 decline. The CEI index had declined by 0.5 % both in November and December 2008 and dropped by 2.7% in the six months to January making the biggest since 1975.  This negative recording was necessitated by the decreasing industrial production and the falling unemployment across all sectors in the US economy.  The CEI index has been falling from November 2007 but accelerated in the past few months.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index(LAG)

The LAG further declined by 0.4% this February after falling by 0.3% and 0.1% in January 2009 and December 2008 respectively. The Lagging Economic Index also decreased from 113.9(2004=100) in January 2009 by 0.4 points to 113.5 (2004=100) this February. The LAG index had dropped by 0.3 % and 0.1% in January 2009 and December 2008 respectively (Conference Board, 2009).

Analysis of the US Composite Indices Components
1. Analysis of Leading Economic Index (LEI) components

Six out of ten components that make up the Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased in the month of February according to the Conference Board release on March 19th 2009.  The positive contributors in decreasing order are: the vendor performance measured by an index of supplier deliveries remained at 0.0677, similarly with building permits measured by new units of private housing stood at 0.0270, money supply measured by M2 at 0.3580 , manufactures’ new orders stood at 0.0774 for consumer goods and materials while that for non-defense capital goods is 0.0180. Whereas the four negative contributors in decreasing order are: the average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance for February is 0.0307, the stock prices which stood measured by 500 common stocks stood at 0.0390, consumer expectations index is 0.0282 and lastly the average weekly manufacturing hours stood at 0.2549 (Conference Board, 2009)

2.  Analysis of Coincident Economic Index (CEI) Components

The CEI index is measured by four components. Two of these components contributed marginally to index namely; the personal income less transfer payments which stood at 0.1873 and the manufacturing and trade sales was 0.1191 for February and March. The negative contributors for February are the employees on non-agricultural payrolls and industrial production which were 0.5439 and 0.1497 respectively (Conference Board, 2009).

Analysis of Lagging Economic Index Components(LAGG)

The Lagging Economic Index is measured by seven components and for February 2009 the index had only one positive contributor, the consumer installment credit to personal income ratio which stood at 0.1872. Negative contributor’s value for commercial and industrial loans was 0.1127; labor cost per unit of output was 0.0608 while the Consumer Price Index for services was 0.1959.  The following components remained the same for February: average prime rate, manufacturing and trade inventories to sales ratio and the average duration of unemployment stood at 0.2825, 0.1238 and 0.0371 respectively (Conference Board, 2009).

Conclusions

Though the LEI recorded a decline this February, a closer look at the component reveals that they more or less balanced out. The market seems to be volatile enough as the credit crunch bites the economy.  Going by this index, we are likely to continue in the recession in the next financial year a time when prospects for expedited economic growth may not be forthcoming perhaps until 2010.

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Chicago Baseball

Well, Chicago baseball is heating up already this Spring. Just a few games into the season, and one of last season’s two playoff-bound Chicago baseball teams is having a whole lotta shake-up going on.

Fierty White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has moved mostly untested but highly promising second baseman Chris Getz into the leadoff spot just a few games into the regular 2009 season. Although Getz made an oh-fer (0 for 4) in his leadoff man debut against the Kansas City Royals (which the Chisox lost 2-1, stranding men on base in the final inning), Guillen said he liked the way Getz took all four of his plate appearances and will leave him in the leadoff spot for the foreseeable future. Not giving Guillen a good look at the plate in the previous two games was what cost center fielder DeWayne Wise the leadoff man spot.

Speaking of his decision, the always-straight-forward Chisox manager said of Wise’s final three plate appearances the day before, “I don’t like it at all. I think he was trying to, I don’t want to say intimidated, but just wanted to protect the plate. I want to get him out of there for a couple of days until he starts to swing the bat better. When he starts to swing the bat better or the way we think he swings the bat, I’ll move him back up to see what happens.”

The Chicago crowd certainly seemed to be in sync with Guillen’s thoughts. They booed Wise roundly the previous games before he was dropped from the leadoff spot after going 0-for-8. Wise himself is, well, none too wise about exactly why.

“I can’t figure it out. I was at home last night, and I was thinking about it. I was like, ‘Wow, it’s not just me that’s not hitting.’ I’ve kind of been the guy that’s been singled out and taken all the heat. I guess this leadoff thing has been the topic all offseason and through the entire spring training, maybe it’s because the fans wanted a veteran guy in that spot, a natural leadoff guy that’s had success on this level in that spot.”

Still, Wise and Getz, along with third baseman Josh Fields (who, though confined to the bottom of the order for now, apparently has learned how to lay down bunt-singles to make up for his lack of brilliant hitting), are all touted as potential big offense for a Chisox team that spent the off season offing some of its older veteran players to add youthful energy to those who remained. Hitting coach Greg Walker says of Wise, Getz, and Fields, “We’re excited about them. We feel like what they do mechanically holds up and they are mentally strong kids, so they should be just fine.” And manager Guillen, who calls himself a “defense guy”, has also voiced the opinion that “When you got Wise, Getz, Quentin, and then go to A.J., Fields and Ramirez, you got more ability to do more stuff. I don’t have to wait for Konerko, Dye, Thome to get hot to score some runs.”

On the mound, fireballing closer Bobby Jenks, who has been known to hit 100mph with his heaters, put aside worries from some that he was losing his already legendary velocity by consistently hitting 96 and 97mph in his appearances. so far this season. Still, he did give up the losing run in the form of a homer to non-power-hitter Coco Crisp of the Royals in the 2-1 loss. According to Jenks, Crisp hit a “cutter that didn’t cut.” But Jenks is still plenty young, the season is plenty young, and nobody’s perfect.

Chicago baseball could see a playoff repeat appearance from the 2006 World Champions this season. We’ll see how the off-season wheeling and dealing ends.

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North Shore Sydney conference venue able to facilitate big events

Conferences and functions are important events and require to be catered for with precision or the event could end up a disaster. To ensure that a conference or function runs smoothly and everything goes according to plan, good understanding of project management is imperative. International conferences nowadays are more popular, and many people attend these conferences from around the globe. There are a number of factors to consider before finding a conference or function venue and good reasons why you should choose the venue in the North Shore Sydney. For instance if you choose an international convention centre that is able to facilitate big events, bear in mind that this will be very costly. However, to find a substitute in North Shore Sydney, you will find a list of venues online.

When it comes to conference venues, conference organizers are far more open to unique venues such as the North Shore Sydney Conference venues and function rooms. One needs to have a little innovation when planning an event or conference. North Shore Sydney provides art galleries, museums, outdoor space and other unique conference venues as well as Christmas party venues. When planning a function or conference you need to find a balance between fun and serious stuff in order not to end up with stressed participants and focus on the main objectives. Even though this may seem like a huge task all these factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding on the right North Shore Sydney conference or function facility. North Shore Sydney offers a wide range of amenities, styles and prices to suit the occasion. Having a clear perspective of your expectations and requirements with regards to the event will help you to narrow your venue choices down. For instance if you are hosting a trade show, you will require a large facility. A simple business conference will require smaller and a less costly venue. The venue providers should be able to take care of all you requirements as well as make sure the venue is cleaned up at the end of the day.

It is also important to view the venue to see if it will suit the occasion and that the venue can accommodate everyone that has returned their RSVP’s and a few extra for those that may book at the last minute. The venue you choose in North Shore Sydney should be accessible to everyone, and for those conferencing from other countries will also require accommodation. Some venues in North Shore Sydney provide catering facilities and accommodation. In order to ensure that everyone is able to attend the function or conference the cost of the venue is very important.

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