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Leading indicators dip as unemployment claims spike

A shopper browses the fresh meat case at a Kroger-owned store in Orland Park, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A measure of future economic conditions fell last month as claims for unemployment insurance rose sharply, according to a new report.

The Leading Economic Index declined 0.2 percent to 123.7 in May, The Conference Board said Thursday. Economists expected leading indicators to rise 0.1 percent in May, after rising 0.6 percent the prior month.

The LEI, a closely followed barometer of economic health, has 10 components including manufacturer' new orders, stock prices, and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance.

"While the LEI suggests the economy will continue growing at a moderate pace in the near term, volatility in financial markets and a moderating outlook in labor markets could pose downside risks to growth," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board, a trade group.

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