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Japan Leading Index Rises In March

Japan's leading indicator of economic activity improved for a third consecutive month in March, but remained below economists' forecast, preliminary data published by the Cabinet Office revealed Wednesday.

The index rose to 96.6 in March from 96 in February. Economists had forecast the reading to rise to 96.9. The index signals the direction of the economy in the months ahead.

The coincident index, that measures the current economic activity, also improved during the month with the score rising to 96.5 from 95.2 in February.

At the same time, the lagging index came in at 86.7, up from 86.2 in the previous month.

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