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U.S. leading indicators rise

Oct. 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6 percent in September after dropping in August, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index, which has climbed four of the past seven months, rose to 95.9 in September with a climb that beat expectations.

Economists had predicted a climb of 0.2 percent.

The index, which takes into account 10 economic components, is essentially a comparison with 2004, the year the Conference Board assigned a level of 100.

"The U.S. LEI increased in September, more than offsetting the decline in August. The LEI has been signaling an economy that is fluctuating around a slow growth trend," Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said.

"The single biggest challenge remains weak demand, domestically and globally. The struggle to regain firmer ground -- in financial markets, international trade and global industrial output -- continues because of weak consumer demand and a lack of more robust business investment," added Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein in a statement.

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