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U.S. Leading Economic Index Jumps More Than Expected In May

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After reporting sharp declines in leading U.S. economic indicators in the two previous months, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing its reading on leading indicators rebounded by more than expected in the month of May.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index jumped by 2.8 percent in May after plunging by 6.1 percent in April and 7.5 percent in March. Economists had expected the index to climb by 1.7 percent.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board, noted the rebound by the leading index was primarily due to initial jobless claims pulling back well off the record high set in late March.

"The improvements in labor markets, housing permits, and stock prices also buoyed the LEI, but new orders in manufacturing, consumers' outlook on the economy, and the Leading Credit Index still point to weak economic conditions," Ozyildirim said.

He added, "The breadth and depth of the decline in the LEI between February and April suggest the economy at large will remain in recession territory in the near term."

The report said the coincident economic index increased by 1.1 percent in May following the 10.4 percent nosedive in April.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board said the lagging economic index slumped by 1.9 percent in May after jumping by 1.7 percent in April.

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