News Column

US Economy Resilient, but Vulnerable to Federal Cuts

March 22, 2013
US Economy

A private gauge of the US economy's direction in the next three to six months rose in February, according to data issued Thursday.

The Conference Board, a New York-based think tank, said that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 per cent to 94.8, based on a 2004 setting at 100.

It was the third straight monthly rise in a row, after the index rose a revised 0.5 per cent in January and 0.4 per cent in December.

"The economy continues to expand slowly, and may be developing some resilience against headwinds from, for example, federal spending cuts," said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the board.

He said "resilience" was emerging in rising new home construction and the improving labour market.

But Ken Goldstein, another economist at the board, warned that Thursday's report does not capture "the recent effects of sequestration" - a reference to the forced across-the-board federal spending cuts that went into effect on March 1 as a result of impasse in Congress.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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