Leading indicators indicate growth

Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in October, climbing for the second consecutive month, the Conference Board said Wednesday.

The Leading Economic Index, has climbed in five of the past eight months. In October, the index rose to 96 after rising 0.5 percent in September and falling 0.4 percent in August.

October's gain is in line with economists' expectations.

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

"Based on current trends, the economy will continue to expand modestly through the early months of 2013," Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said.

"Hurricane Sandy, which is not yet fully reflected in the LEI, will likely adversely affect consumer spending and home building in the short-term," he added. "But it's too soon to gauge the net impact."

Goldstein also said budget negotiations in Washington "could alter the outlook."

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