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Leading Economic Indicators Up Slightly

Economic indicators were essentially flat from April to May, the ""Conference Board"":http://www.conference-board.org/ reported.


The group's Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the United States rose 0.1 percent in May to 95.2, a disappointing movement compared to April's 0.8 percent increase. However, experts at the Conference Board note the index's stability is a good sign.

""Despite month-to-month volatility, the LEI's six-month growth rate remains steady, suggesting that conditions in [COLUMN_BREAK]

the economy remain resilient,"" said economist Ataman Ozyildirim. ""Widespread gains in the leading indicators over the last six months suggest there is some upside potential for economic activity in the second half of the year.""

The Coincident Economic Index, which measures the current state of the economy, rose 0.2 percent to a value of 105.6, coming in slightly ahead of the 0.1 percent gains recorded in both April and March.

Meanwhile, the Lagging Economic Index, a measure of long-term trends, increased 0.3 percent to a reading of 118.6, beating April's 0.1 percent increase and matching March's improvement.

With the economy still in a fragile state, the future largely hinges on the ongoing housing recovery, said economist Ken Goldstein.

""Growth will depend on continued improvement in the housing market and an easing of consumer and business caution which would allow overall consumption and investment to gain traction,"" Goldstein said. ""Cutbacks in public spending programs and the drag from foreign trade remain headwinds.""


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