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Thu Dec 22, 2011, 01:11 PM

Leading U.S. Indicators Rise More Than Forecast in Sign of Further Growth

By Timothy R. Homan - Dec 22, 2011 10:00 AM ET

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Burke, chief executive officer of Robert Burke Associates, talks about the outlook for luxury retail sales and consumer sentiment. Burke speaks with Lisa Murphy and Hitha Prabhakar on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

The index of U.S. leading indicators climbed more than forecast in November, a sign that the world’s largest economy will keep growing in early 2012.

The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 0.5 percent after a 0.9 percent October increase, the New York-based research group said today. The median forecast of 54 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the gauge would advance 0.3 percent.

Gains in manufacturing and consumer spending, alongside improvements in the housing market, indicate the economy will probably weather a possible recession in Europe. At the same time, political gridlock in Washington that threatens to cause a tax cut to expire raises the risk that household purchases and overall growth will cool early next year.

“The economy’s underlying momentum appears to be improving steadily as we head into next year,” Richard DeKaser, deputy chief economist at the Parthenon Group Inc. in Boston, said before the report. “The two areas which seem to be trending most favorably are the labor market and the housing market.”



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