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U.S. Leading Index Rises Tenth Of A Point

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for the U.S. rose one-tenth of a percentage point in December, 2005, half the increase most economists were expecting and significantly below its gains the two previous months.

The index now stands at 138.5 (1996=100).

The leading index for the U.S. increased nine-tenths of a percentage point in November and a full percentage point in October.

"The current behavior of the leading index suggests the [U.S.] economy should continue expanding moderately in the near term," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.

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