Conference Board suspects its economic data is being diverted early to computer systems

WASHINGTON – The Conference Board will no longer provide its economic reports in advance to news organizations because it suspects the data is being diverted early to computer-driven trading systems, which can unfairly profit from it.

The private research group has provided its monthly data to reporters 30 minutes before the information is publicly released. The early access to the data has allowed journalists to prepare news reports ahead of the information’s public release at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Starting Tuesday, the Conference Board’s data will be released to everyone simultaneously.

The New York-based organization issues reports on consumer confidence and other economic indicators that can affect financial markets.

The moves follows reports that another organization, Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, provides its monthly report on consumer sentiment early to some paying clients.