Leading indicators rise in November

Dec. 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent in November, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index, which has risen for the past six months, climbed 0.3 percent in August and 0.1 percent in September. In October it jumped 0.9 percent to 117.4. In November it climbed to 118, the Conference Board said.

Economists had predicted a 0.3 percent rise.

"November's increase in the LEI for the United States was widespread among the leading indicators and continues to suggest that the risk of an economic downturn in the near term has receded," said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.

"Interest rate spread and housing permits made the largest contributions to the LEI this month, overcoming a falling average workweek in manufacturing, which reversed its October gain," he said.

"The LEI is pointing to continued growth this winter, possibly even gaining a little momentum by spring," Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said.

With a gain in building permits issued in the month, "There is a chance that the long decline in housing is finally slowing," he said in a statement.

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