The United States is leading a line of industrial nations down the recovery path. The leading index for the US was expanding at an annual rate of 11 percent in April, the highest figure since the recYvery after the 1973-75 recession, the Conference Board reports.
France is right on the heels of the US, with a rising leading index of 10 percent. Also in step are Canada, at 8 percent, and the United Kingdom and West Germany, at 6 percent. Only Italy and Japan have yet to follow suit. In these two countries, however, leading indicators are showing more strength than they did earlier this year.
''While the evidence of economic recovery is still weaker for the six countries other than the US, the average 5 percent growth rate recorded for these nations is the best showing since the spring of 1980, when the industrial world's latest bout with recession began,'' explains Dr. Geoffrey Moore, director of the Center for International Business Cycle Research at Columbia Unversity.
The international leading indexes are composites based on some 65 indicators such as new orders, construction contracts, stock prices, and changes in consumer debts.