Good news for Angela Merkel in her initial days as German chancellor.
For the sixth consecutive month, the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for the Federal Republic rose in September, the most recent month for which data are available. A four-tenth-percent increase brought the index to 105.0 (1990=100). "Strength among the leading indicators has become more widespread in recent months," notes the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. "The improvement in the leading index in recent months suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term."