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Leading indicators up 0.4% in April, top forecast

The index of leading economic indicators climbed in April, continuing a strong weather-related gain in the month prior.

The index rose 0.4 percent last month, according to the Conference Board, after an upwardly revised 1 percent reading in March.

Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a gain of 0.3 percent.

"The LEI rose for the third consecutive month, driven largely by improving housing and financial market conditions," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board. "This latest report suggests the economy will continue to expand, and may even pick up steam through the second half of the year."

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