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The economy is modestly expanding in the near term, according to The Conference Board. The organization’s U.S. leading economic index rose 0.2 percent in October to a reading of 96.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in September and a 0.4 percent decline in August.
“Based on current trends, the economy will continue to expand modestly through the early months of 2013,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “Hurricane Sandy, which is not yet fully reflected in the [leading economic index], will likely adversely affect consumer spending and home building in the short-term, but it’s too soon to gauge the net impact. In addition, the outcome of the fiscal cliff debates is another factor which could alter the outlook.”