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Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:16 AM

Index of U.S. Leading Indicators Falls More Than Forecast [View all]

The index of U.S. leading economic indicators fell more than forecast in June, a sign the U.S. economic expansion is slowing.

The Conferences Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months decreased 0.3 percent after a revised 0.4 percent increase in May, the New York-based group said today. Economists projected the gauge would drop by 0.1 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Retail sales unexpectedly declined in June for a third straight month, indicating that slow progress in job creation is holding back consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said July 17 that progress in reducing unemployment is likely to be “frustratingly slow.”

“The economy is losing momentum,” Robert Dye, chief economist for financial services company Comerica Inc. in Dallas, said before the report. “It is not a definitive sign of impending recession but a sign that this economy is underperforming. My expectation is that we will continue to underperform for the remainder of this year.”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-19/index-of-u-s-leading-indicators-falls-more-than-forecast.html

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