Index of Leading Economic Indicators in U.S. Increases 0.5%
By Alex Kowalski - Jan 24, 2013
The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in December by the most in three months, showing the world’s largest economy is poised to keep growing through the first half of this year.
The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.5 percent after the November reading was revised to unchanged from a previously reported decline, the New York-based group said today. Economists projected the gauge would rise 0.4 percent last month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
“The overall picture is one of modest growth,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Housing is adding to growth. The labor market is better, so the consumer has more impetus to spend.”
The recovery in residential real estate, sustained job growth and stock-market gains that are extending through this month are giving Americans the wherewithal to spend. At the same time, higher payroll taxes and possible budget cutbacks threaten to limit how fast the expansion can advance.