U.S. leading indicators rose in January

Feb. 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators increased in January, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index rose for the eighth month out of the past 10, climbing 0.3 percent to 99.5 following no change in December in a revised reading.

The index is a comparison to economic conditions in 2004, which have been assigned a value of 100.

"The six-month average growth rate has been relatively stable in recent months, which suggests that the economy will remain resilient in the first half of 2014 and underlying economic conditions should continue to improve," said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.

While indications point to a solid recovery, economic picking up speed is unlikely under present conditions, said economist Ken Goldstein.

"If the economy is going to move on to a faster track in 2014 compared to last year, consumer demand and especially investment will need to pick up significantly from their current trends," he said.

The U.S. coincident index, which measures current business conditions, climbed 0.1 percent to 108.1 in January.

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