US Economy

Leading indicators move up in November

A Best Buy employee counts cash at a store in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An indicator of U.S. economic activity increased in November, suggesting an improving pace of economic expansion ahead.

The Conference Board said Thursday its Leading Economic Index increased 0.4 percent to 124.6 in November. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast the index to rise by 0.1 percent in November, compared to a gain of 0.6 percent in the previous month.

"The U.S. LEI registered another increase in November, with building permits, the interest rate spread, and stock prices driving the improvement," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board.

"Although the six-month growth rate of the LEI has moderated, the economic outlook for the final quarter of the year and into the new year remains positive."

What are leading economic indicators?

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

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