NEW YORK, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in January, climbing for the second consecutive month, the Conference Board said Thursday.
The Leading Economic Index rose to 94.1 following a 0.5 percent gain in December and no change in the previous month.
"Despite continued weakness in manufacturers' new orders and consumer expectations, improvements in housing permits and financial components helped boost the LEI in January," he said.
The index maintained an upward trend that has held for the past six months, despite a drop in industrial production in January, he said.
The leading index compares current business activity with 2004, the year the Conference Board assigned a level of 100.