Iowa Leading Indicators Index sees increase in April
The Iowa Leading Indicators Index increased to 110.7 in April from 110.4 in March, a 0.3% increase. The monthly diffusion index remained unchanged from March at 50.0.
The Iowa nonfarm employment coincident index recorded a 0.18% increase in April, the 13th month of growth in a row.
Four of the eight components increased month over month in April: average weekly unemployment claims, diesel fuel consumption, the national yield spread and the agricultural futures profit index.
Residential building permits, the new orders index, average manufacturing hours and the Iowa Stock Market Index detracted from the index.
In April, the 12-month moving average of weekly unemployment claims decreased from 2,472 to 2,180. Unemployment claims were 73.4% below April 2021 claims and 65.8% below average historical claims for April.
The agricultural futures profit index showed both grain commodities and cattle commodities expecting profit gains in April while expected profits for hog commodities decreased. The April crush margin for hogs decreased 14.4% from March while the crush margin for cattle
increased 10%. The crush margin involves the market value of the animal minus its initial cost and the cost of feeding it.
The yield spread increased to 1.99% in April from 1.68% in March, making April the 16th month in a row since December 2020 that the yield spread has been at or above 1%.
Diesel fuel consumption increased 7.6% between April 2021 and April 2022. The 12-month moving average increased month over month to 68.09 million gallons in April from 67.68 million in March.
The Iowa Stock Market Index decreased in April 2022 to 137.59 from a revised 140.0 in March. Of the 29 companies on the index, 13 gained value in April and three of the 10 financial sector companies saw increases.
The 12-month moving average of weekly manufacturing hours decreased slightly to 39.2 in April from a revised 39.3 in March. In April 2022, average hours were 39.1, below the 39.8 hours in April 2021, and nearly two hours below the historical monthly average.
The new orders index decreased month over month to 70.6 in April compared with 75.4 in March. The 12-month moving average of the new orders index has decreased to 68.38 from 70.0 in April 2021.
The full report is available online.