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US leading index inches up

March 21 2013

The Conference Board’s U.S. leading economic index rose again in February, moving up 0.5 percent to a reading of 94.8 (2004 = 100). “Even though consumer expectations and manufacturing new orders remain weak, the economy continues to expand slowly, and may be developing some resilience against headwinds from, for example, federal spending cuts due to improving residential construction and labor market conditions,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board.

The index rose 0.5 percent in January and 0.4 percent in December.

“The U.S. economy is growing slowly now, and with this reading increases hope that it may pick up some momentum in the second half of the year,” said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “However, this latest report does not yet capture the recent effects of sequestration, which could dampen the pickup in GDP.”

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