Leading Economic Index Signals Slowing Economy

Growth of the U.S. economy during the next three to six months is likely to be "at a slow to moderate rate," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.

Its index of leading economic indicators for the U.S. fell sharply in May, the second consecutive decline and the third decline in the past six months. The six-tenths percent fall last month dropped the index to 137.9 (1996=100). The leading index had dipped a tenth of a percentage point in April and risen four-tenths in March.

May's drop was two-tenths of a percentage point greater than the four-tenths decline that economists generally expected.

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