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US leading indicators rise slightly in September

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Jason Reed | Reuters

A key economic gauge rebounded in September, new data released by The Conference Board showed on Thursday, reflecting modest improvement in key sectors of the world's largest economy.

The Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose 0.2 percent in September to 124.4, the trade group said, in line with consensus Wall Street economist forecasts. It reversed a 0.2 percent decline in August.

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

The September results suggest the economy should continue to expand at a moderate pace through early 2017, according to Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board.

"Housing permits, unemployment insurance claims, and the interest rate spread were the main components lifting the index in September," Ozyildirim said. "Overall, the strengths among the leading indicators are outweighing modest weaknesses in stock prices and the average workweek."