The Conference Board's most recent International Economic Scoreboard showed that leading indexes in all nine of the world's major industrial countries are advancing, with Japan and Taiwan showing the most growth. The board noted that the most recent data (through July and August) do not reveal any fundamental economic weaknesses that may have pointed to the recent stock market plunge.
The report showed Japan's leading index rising at an annual rate of of 32%, the highest for any country during the past 15 years. Taiwan posted a growth rate of 16%, Australia 13% and the United States 10%.
Edgar R. Fiedler, economic counselor at the board, said the recent slide in the stock market is likely to be reflected soon in the index, which projects the direction of an economy. "The recent stock market debacle will be enough by itself to depress the October leading index," he said. "There is no basis now for thinking a recession is imminent, but it's not too soon to begin watching incoming data with extra care."