The Leading Economic Index rebounded with positive contributions from housing permits and labor market conditions.
The index climbed "although consumers' outlook on the economy remains weak," Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said.
"The index is 3.5 percent higher, annualized, than six months ago, suggesting expansion," economist Ken Goldstein said.
The biggest current risk, he said, is cuts in government spending.
On the flip side, the brightest factors at the moment are improvements in the housing and labor markets.
The leading index compares current business activity with 2004, the year the Conference Board assigned a level of 100.