U.S. Economic Momentum Continues

Conference Board index rose .3% in December.

After a soft patch in late 2006, U.S. economic momentum appears to be building, according to the Conference Board. Its index of leading economic indicators, a gauge of activity in the coming six to nine months, rose 0.3% in December. The index was ahead of Wall Street forecasts of a 0.2% increase.

The report "is pointing to continued moderate growth or even a little acceleration," said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein.

"The housing slump does not appear to be deepening. Inflation remains relatively in check at the moment. Also, consumer income growth appears to be picking up, as wage growth improves and job generation does not appear to be slowing."

Goldstein added that the decline in energy prices along with modest income growth "might spark a little more economic activity this spring, unless offset by some new development."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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