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Iowa Leading Indicators Index sees gains in October


The Iowa Leading Indicators Index increased 0.4% in October from September, following a 0.1% increase last month. The monthly diffusion index rebounded this month, increasing to 81.3 from 50 in September.

The Iowa nonfarm employment coincident index increased 0.15% in October. The six-month diffusion index decreased for a third consecutive month to 62.5 in October from 75 in September.

Six of the index’s eight components increased in October: the agricultural futures profit index, residential building permits, diesel fuel consumption, average weekly unemployment claims (inverted), the national yield spread and the Iowa Stock Market Index.

The new orders index and average manufacturing hours are the two components that detracted from the index.

The agricultural futures profit index was the strongest contributor to the index in October, with all grain and livestock commodities expecting profits. October’s crush margin for cattle increased 5.2% from September, and the crush margin for hogs increased 12.5%.

The new orders index was the largest detractor from the Iowa Leading Indicators Index for the second month in a row. Its 12-month moving average decreased to 74.4 in October from 75.1 in September. September and October 2021 are the two months the new orders index has contributed negatively since October 2020.

The 12-month average of weekly unemployment claims decreased in October to 4,065 from 4,280. Unemployment claims are 37.3% below the historical average.

Twenty of the 30 companies on the Iowa Stock Market Index gained value in October, and nine of the 10 financial sector companies increased. The gains led to an increase in the stock market index to 129.6 in October from 128.7 in September.

Taxable gallons of diesel fuel increased in October with the 12-month moving average rising to 66.1 million gallons in October from 65.8 million gallons in September. Diesel fuel consumption increased 5% between October 2020 and October 2021.

The yield spread increased in October to 1.5% from 1.3% in September. October is the 10th month in a row since October 2018 that the yield spread has been at or above 1%.

The full report is available online.

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