Leading indicators up 0.1% in Feb, vs. expectations for 0.2% gain

A key economic measure ticked higher in February, but fell just short of Wall Street expectations.

The Leading Economic Index rose just 0.1 percent in February to 123.2, according to The Conference Board on Thursday. Housing permits, stock prices, consumer expectations, and new orders remain sources of weakness, according to Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board.

In spite of declines in recent months, Ozyildirim said the economy still remains on track and modest economic expansion will continue through early 2016.

"Although the LEI's six-month growth rate has moderated considerably in recent months, the outlook remains positive with little chance of a downturn in the near-term," he said in a statement.

Economists expected the index to rise 0.2 percent in February, after falling 0.2 percent in January, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.