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Leading indicators up in October, beating expectations

The leading indicators index, used to predict the future of the economy's health, rose sharply last month.

The index increased 0.9 percent in October, topping the 0.7 percent increase in September, The Conference Board announced on Thursday.

Economists expected leading indicators to gain 0.6 percent in October, according to Reuters consensus estimates.

"Despite a negative contribution from stock prices in October, and minimal contributions from new orders for consumer goods and average workweek in manufacturing, the LEI suggests the U.S. expansion continues to be strong," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board.

The LEI "points to continued economic growth through the holiday season and into early 2015," said Ken Goldstein, another Conference Board economist. The LEI is consistent with the Board's outlook for relatively good, but not great, consumer demand. Moving forward, concerns remain about slow business investment and lackluster income growth.