U.S. Leading Economic Index Up 0.3%

Conference Board said economic has weather high gas prices and housing slump.

A key measure of future U.S. economic activity rose at an unexpectedly strong pace in May, the Conference Board said June 21 in a further sign of a rebounding economy. The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3% in May, ahead of expectations of a 0.2% gain.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said the indexes suggest the modest pace of growth is likely to maintained in the coming months. "These data may be suggesting that the economy has weathered the negative impact of the housing slump and the spring run-up in gas (motor fuel) prices," he said. "These prices are now beginning to moderate."

The economy grew at a sluggish 0.6% pace in the first quarter of 2007 but many economists see a stronger rate of around 3% in the second quarter and beyond.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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