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Leading Economic Indicators Slip

The latest data from the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, give credence to forecasts that the U.S. economic growth will slow somewhat following a very strong first quarter.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators fell one-tenth of a percentage point in March to 138.4 (1996=100), its second consecutive monthly decline. Only five of the leading index's 10 components increased in March, among them manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials. Among the five declining in March were manufacturers' new orders for non-defense capital goods.

"The current behavior of the leading index suggests economic growth should continue moderately in the near term," the Conference Board said when it released its data on April 20.

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