A monthly projection of the US economy's
direction rose in April after an unexpected decline in March,
according to data issued Friday.
The Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said its index of leading economic indicators, which guages the outlook for the next three to six months, rose 0.6 per cent in April to 95, based on a 2004 setting at 100.
The 0.6-per-cent climb was the strongest increase since February 2012, the board said.
The rise was attributed to a rise in housing permits and favourable interest rates, and, to a lesser extent, strong labour market conditions, said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the board. But he noted consumers still consider the economy to be weak.
Ken Goldstein, another economist at the board, noted the index is 3.5 per cent higher than six months ago, "suggesting expansion."
He warned that the "biggest risk right now" is the impact of federal spending cuts.
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