The U.S. economy is expected to continue expanding, at least through the first six months of 2022. This assessment from The Conference Board is buoyed by the 1.1 percent November increase in its Leading Economic Index for the U.S.

November’s growth builds on smaller expansions in the index registered in October and September.

“The U.S. LEI rose sharply again in November, suggesting the current economic expansion will continue into the first half of 2022,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board. “Inflation and continuing supply chain disruptions, as well as a resurgence of COVID-19, pose risks to GDP growth in 2022. Still, the economic impact of these risks may be contained. The Conference Board forecasts real GDP growth to strengthen in Q4 2021 to about 6.5 percent (annualized rate), before moderating to a still healthy rate of 2.2 percent in Q1 2022.”

The Conference Board’s composite economic indexes are designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. Its Coincident Economic Index, a measure of current economic activity, for the U.S. increased by 0.3 percent in November to 106.7, following a 0.5-percent increase in October and no change in September. Its Lagging Economic Index, an indicator representing changes that come only after the economy has begun to follow a particular trend, decreased by 0.1 percent in November to 107.2, following a 0.5-percent increase in October and a 0.9-percent increase in September.