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Conference Board Leading Economic Index Rose 0.4 percent in May

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose 0.4 percent in May. The index did not change in April, and increased 1.4 percent in March. The index indicates slow but sustained U.S. economic growth for the rest of the year. But a projected severe slowing of the European economy could diminish a longer-term outlook for the United States.

Domestically, "The LEI for the United States has been rising since April 2009, and though its growth rate has slowed in 2010, it is well above its most recent peak in December 2006," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Conference Board economist. "Correspondingly, current economic conditions, as measured by The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the United States, have been improving steadily since November 2009, thanks to gains in payroll employment and industrial production."

March 2009 marked the most recent low point of the economic index. The index is currently 12 percent about that point, and 4.6 percent higher than its most recent peak in December 2006. The coincident economic index remains 5.4 percent below its most recent peak in December 2007.

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