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Economic Watch: Leading Indicators Show Improvement into 2015

November 21, 2014

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A measure used to forecast where the U.S. economy is headed in the next three to six months rose sharply in October from the month before, according to the private research group The Conference Board.

Its Leading Economic Index increased 0.9% to 105.2, following a 0.7 percent increase in September, and no change in August. The October improvement was the biggest since July.

“The LEI rose sharply in October, with all components gaining over the previous six months,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “Despite a negative contribution from stock prices in October, and minimal contributions from new orders for consumer goods and average workweek in manufacturing, the LEI suggests the U.S. expansion continues to be strong.”

The upward trend in the LEI points to continued economic growth through the holiday season and into early 2015,” according to Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board.

“This is consistent with our outlook for relatively good, but not great, consumer demand over the near term. Going forward, there are continued concerns about slow business investment and lackluster income growth," he said.

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