Leading indicators point to growth in 2013
BY Associated Press
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 4:27 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity increased in December from November, suggesting growth may strengthen in 2013.
The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.5 percent in December, the best showing since September. In November, the index was unchanged. The gauge is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.
A decline in applications for unemployment benefits, gains on Wall Street and increases in applications for building permits drove the index higher in December.
Conference Board economist Kenneth Goldstein said the rebound in the leading index suggested an improving outlook in contrast to a few months ago when the expectations were not so optimistic.
"Housing, which has long been a drag, has turned into a positive for growth, and will help improve consumer balance sheets and strengthen consumption," Goldstein said. "However, for growth to gain more traction we also need to see better performance on new orders and an acceleration in capital spending."
Five of the 10 indicators in the index were positive factors in December.
Original Print Headline: Indicators point to economic growth