UK Leading Index Increases For Third Month

By John S. McClenahen The Conference Board's leading index of economic indicators for the United Kingdom increased for the third consecutive month in October, the most recent month for which data are available. The index now stands at 134.4 (1990=100). "Despite [October's] gain, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to about a 3% to 4% annual rate, about half the 6% to 7% growth rate reached earlier this year," notes the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. "The current behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy will continue to grow in the near term, probably at a slightly higher rate than the sluggish third-quarter [2004] pace, but still lower than last year's relatively strong growth."

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