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U.S. Leading Economic Index Climbs More Than Expected In June

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Pointing to continuing solid growth in the U.S. economy, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading economic indicators in the month of June.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.5 percent in June after revised data showed no change in May.

Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

"The widespread growth in leading indicators, with the exception of housing permits which declined once again, does not suggest any considerable growth slowdown in the short-term," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board.

The bigger than expected increase by the headline index reflected positive contributions from seven of the ten indicators, including the ISM new orders index, the interest rate spread, and the Leading Credit Index.

Building permits were the only negative contributor, while average weekly manufacturing hours and manufacturers' new orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft held steady.

The report also said the coincident economic index rose by 0.3 percent in June after inching up by 0.1 percent in May. All four indicators that make up the index increased during the month.

The lagging economic index also climbed by 0.3 percent in June following a 0.5 percent increase in May, reflecting positive contributions from four of its seven components.

The positive contributors included commercial and industrial loans outstanding, the average prime rate charged by banks, the average duration of unemployment, and the ratio of consumer installment credit outstanding to personal income.

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