Based on perception, not reality:
When I read this headline/teaser
April leading indicators rise; recession to ease
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The recession will be less intense in the near term, and there could even be small growth in the second half of the year, the Conference Board said Thursday.
I was pretty sure it was due to the stock market since just about every other metric has been negative or weakly positive. Sure enough, the report said: (emp add)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The recession will be less intense in the near term, and there could even be small growth in the second half of the year, the Conference Board said Thursday. The index of leading economic indicators rose 1% in April - the first increase in seven months -- following a revised dip of 0.2% in March. "The question is how long before declines in activity give way to small increases. If the indicators continue on the current track, that point might be reached in the second half of the year," said Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board. Of the 10 indicators that comprise the index, seven rose in April, with the largest positive contribution from stock prices. The largest negative contribution came from the real money supply.
UPDATE: Justin Fox notes
... three of the seven positive readings this month (stock prices, the interest rate spread, and the index of consumer expectations) were about sentiment as much as reality, and a fourth was average weekly jobless claims, where after an encouraging month the trend may now be shifting back in the wrong direction