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Conference Board Leading Economic Index Makes 'Sharp Increase' in November

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose 1.1 percent in November to 112.4. The LEI grew 0.4 percent in October and 0.6 percent in September.

"November's sharp increase in the LEI, the fifth consecutive gain, is an early sign that the expansion is gaining momentum and spreading. Nearly all components rose in November. Continuing strength in financial indicators is now joined by gains in manufacturing and consumer expectations, but housing remains weak," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board.

"The U.S. economy is showing some sparks of life in late 2010. Overall, the indicators point to a mild pickup after a slow winter. Looking further out, possible clouds on the medium term horizon include weaknesses in housing and employment," said Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board.

The LEI considers 10 economic factors, including average weekly initial unemployment insurance claims, manufacturers' new orders, stock prices, the supplier deliveries index, and consumer expectations.

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