U.S. Leading Indicators Gain More Than Expected

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for the U.S. for November, the most recent data available, rose half a percentage point, beating economists' predictions of a four-tenths percent rise. The index now stands at 138.8 (1996=100).

The leading index increased 1% in October, but fell seven-tenths of a percent in September. "It is too early to tell whether the slowdown in the leading index has ended, and the recent behavior of the leading index is still consistent with the [U.S.] economy continuing to expand moderately in the near term," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.

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