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U.S. Leading Economic Index Increases At Slower Rate In September

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Suggesting the U.S. economy could be losing momentum heading into the final quarter of 2020, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a slowdown in the pace of growth by its reading on leading economic indicators.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.7 percent in September after surging up by a revised 1.4 percent in August.

Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.6 percent compared to the 1.2 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

The continued increase by the leading economic index was driven primarily by declining unemployment claims and rising housing permits.

"The US economy is projected to expand in Q4, but at a substantially slower rate of 1.5 percent (annual rate) according to The Conference Board's GDP forecast," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.

He added, "Furthermore, downside risks to the recovery may be increasing amid rising new cases of COVID-19 and continued labor market weakness."

The report said the coincident economic index crept up by 0.2 percent in September after climbing by 0.8 percent in August.

Meanwhile, the lagging economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in September, matching the dip seen in the previous month.

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