U.S. Conference Board says leading economic indicators rose 1.2% in May

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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Conference Board, a non-profit global business organization, said on Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators in the United States rose by 1.2% last month, the second consecutive increase. The rise is the largest back-to-back increase since the last two months of 2001, the group said.

Seven of the ten indicators had seen an improvement: stock prices, money supply, building permits, capital-goods orders, consumer expectation and interest-rate spread. The three indicators that had contracted were initial jobless claims, consumer-goods orders, and work hours at factories.

"The recession is losing steam," said an economist for the Board, Ken Goldstein. "Confidence is building and financial market volatility is abating. Even the housing market appears to be stabilizing."

"If these trends continue, expect a slow recovery beginning before the end of the year. However, employment will take longer to turn around," he added.