U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises Slightly More Than Expected In February

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Reflecting accommodative financial conditions and a rebound in stock prices, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators rose for the first time in five months in February.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged up by 0.2 percent in February after revised data showed no change in January.

Economists had expected the index to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.1 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board, said the accommodative financial conditions and rebound in stock prices more than offset weaknesses in the labor market components.

"Despite the latest results, the US LEI's growth rate has slowed over the past six months, suggesting that while the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, its pace of growth could decelerate by year end," Ozyildirim added.

The report said the coincident economic index rose by 0.2 percent in February following a 0.1 percent uptick in January, while the lagging economic index was unchanged after climbing by 0.6 percent in the previous month.

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