A key gauge of U.S. economic performance rose in March for the ninth straight month,
pointing to strengthening business conditions, a private research group said Thursday.
The New York-based Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in March, after gaining a revised 1 percent in February and 0.2 percent in January.
"The March increase was led by the interest rate spread and housing permits components, while consumer expectations dropped," said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.
The Conference Board's index aims to gauge the world's largest economy's performance over the next three to six months.
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