Leading Indicators for the 1990s
by John Sweeney
Author: Geoffrey. H. Moore
Publisher: Dow Jones-Irwin
1818 Ridge Road
Homewood, IL 60430
Nothing could be more topical than rethinking the leading indicators index published in the Business
Conditions Digest, watched by nearly every economist and policymaker in the U.S. —and many outside
the U.S. as well.
Throughout the 1980s, this indicator, while performing serviceably, if not perfectly, together with the
lagging and the coincident/lagging ratio, have bumped along in a way many think inadequately reflects
the actual path of the economy. Blame is commonly assigned to the "old" components that don't reflect
the increasing shift to services in the Gross National Product (GNP).
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Moore and his colleagues at Columbia University's Center for International
Business Cycle Research (CIBCR) have built a solid track record researching and forecasting inflation
and other economic indicators. No better crew could address the composition of a modern leading