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U.S. Leading Economic Index Drops For Third Straight Month In October

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A report released by the Conference Board on Thursday showed a modest decrease by its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of October.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in October after dipping by 0.2 percent in both September and August. Economists had been expecting another 0.2 percent drop.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board, noted the index fell for the third straight month, with the six-month growth rate turning negative for the first time since May 2016.

"The decline was driven by weaknesses in new orders for manufacturing, average weekly hours, and unemployment insurance claims," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.

"The major difference this month is the softening in the labor market, whereas conditions in manufacturing remain weak and show no signs of improvement yet," he added. "Taken together, the LEI suggests that the economy will end the year on a weak note, at just below 2 percent growth."

The report said the coincident economic index was unchanged in October after inching up by 0.1 percent in September, while the lagging economic index crept up by 0.1 percent for the second straight month.

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