The US economy is facing a downturn, with the March reading of The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) providing proof. The index showed a decline of 1.2%, its lowest level since November 2020, and a 4.5% contraction over the previous six months. This continuous decline is consistent with a deterioration of economic conditions.

According to Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, senior manager of business cycle indicators at The Conference Board, only stock prices and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials contributed positively over the last six months. She is expecting the economic weakness to intensify and spread more widely in the coming months, leading to a recession starting in the middle of 2023.