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Leading indicators up 0.3% in June, vs. expectations for 0.5% gain

A gauge of future U.S. economic activity rose in June, supporting views of a stronger growth performance in the second half of the year.

The Conference Board said on Friday that its Leading Economic Index increased 0.3 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent rise in May.

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Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to rise 0.5 percent after May's previously reported 0.5 percent gain.

"Broad-based increases in the LEI over the last six months signal an economy that is expanding in the near term and may even somewhat accelerate in the second half,'' said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the Conference Board.

"Housing permits, the weakest indicator during this period, reflects some risk to this improving outlook. But favorable financial conditions, generally positive trends in the labor markets and the outlook for new orders in manufacturing have offset the housing market weakness over the past six months.''

-- By Reuters

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