The year 2017 ended on a positive note for the U.S. economy, with fourth-quarter results showing growth in consumer confidence and in the housing and manufacturing sectors.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is the only leading economic indicator included in this report, experienced double-digit growth above the fourth quarter in 2016. PMI shows the health of the manufacturing sector, and a reading above 50 means general growth. The quarter’s average of 58.7 reflects robust production and high demand for products.
Consumer confidence, which is measured by The Conference Board, was also strong for the quarter, exhibiting a 17.5 percent uptick above the same period in 2016. Average existing-home sales, new housing starts and home prices also went up year over year, but not as dramatically.