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U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises 0.8% In November, Slightly More Than Expected

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Suggesting gradually strengthening economic conditions, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing that its index of leading U.S. economic indicators rose by slightly more than expected in the month of November.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.8 percent in November after edging up by 0.1 percent in October and jumping by 1.0 percent in September. Economists had been expecting the index to increase by 0.7 percent.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at the Conference Board, said, "Improving labor markets and new orders in manufacturing, combined with strong financial indicators, drove November's gain."

"However, consumers' outlook for the economy and the drop in housing permits continue to pose risks in 2014," he added.

The increase by the leading economic index reflected positive contributions from eight of the ten indicators that make up the index.

The interest rate spread, average weekly initial jobless claims, the ISM new orders index, the Leading Credit Index, and stock prices were among the biggest positive contributors.

The report also showed that the coincident economic index rose by 0.4 percent in November after inching up by 0.1 percent in October and rising by 0.3 percent in September.

The Conference Board said all four of the indicators that make up the coincident economic index increased in November.

Ken Goldstein, Economist at the Conference Board, said, "The coincident economic index shows the economy expanding at a relatively slow pace."

"The trend in the leading economic index is stronger, signaling for some time that the economy is developing forward momentum, and will continue to strengthen through early 2014," he added.

Meanwhile, the report said the lagging economic index was unchanged in November following a 0.3 percent increase in October and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

Positive contributions by two of the seven components of the lagging index were offset by negative contributions from three components.

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