The index of leading economic indicators pointed down 0.1 percent based on May's data, another sign of slightly weaker growth ahead, the Commerce Department said Friday.
This was the first downturn in the index since August 1982; the index has experienced lackluster growth, averaging 0.5 percent, through the first five months of this year. May's number was 168.2. The April figure was revised upward to 168.3. Revisions in the data are common, since the index uses economic information especially sensitive to change and attempts to forecast what kind of future is likely.