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Leading indicators inch up in August

An indicator of U.S. economic activity inched up in August, but missed analyst expectations slightly, suggesting moderate economic growth ahead. (Tweet this)

The Conference Board said Friday its leading economic index increased by 0.1 percent to 123.7 in August following no change in July and a 0.6 percent increase in June. Analysts had expected the index to gain by 0.2 percent in August.

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"The U.S. LEI suggests economic growth will remain moderate into the New Year, with little reason to expect growth to pick up substantially," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board, in a press release.

"Average working hours and new orders in manufacturing have been weak, pointing to more slow growth in the industrial sector. However, employment, personal income and manufacturing and trade sales have all been rising, helping to offset the weakness in industrial production in recent months."

The LEI is comprised of 10 components including manufacturer' new orders, stock prices, and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance.