A private gauge of the US economy's direction in
the next three to six months rose in January, according to data
The Conference Board, a New York-based think tank, said that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 per cent to 94.1, based on a 2004 setting at 100. The index had gained 0.5 per cent in December after registering unchanged in November.
Six of the index's 10 indicators were higher. Manufacturing orders and consumer expectations weighed down the index, while more housing permits, rising stock prices and the credit market suggested a strengthening economy.
"The indicators point to an underlying economy that remains relatively sound but sluggish," Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said. "The biggest positive factor is housing. The housing market is now at twice the level reached during its recessionary lows."
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