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Financial News: U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises More Than Expected

U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises More Than Expected In March

04/20/2017 - 10:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Pointing to continued economic growth this year, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of March.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.4 percent in March after climbing by a revised 0.5 percent in February.

Economists had expected the index to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

"The March increase and upward trend in the U.S. LEI point to continued economic growth in 2017, with perhaps an acceleration later in the year if consumer spending and investment pick up," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board.

He added, "The gains among the leading indicators were very widespread, with new orders in manufacturing and the interest rate spread more than offsetting declines in the labor market components in March."

The report said the coincident economic index edged up by 0.2 percent for the second straight month, while the lagging economic index was unchanged in March after rising by 0.2 percent in February.

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