The U.S. Leading Index, a key barometer of economic conditions, increased 0.5 percent in November, following a large gain in October, The Conference Board reported Thursday. The leading index now stands at 138.8 (1996=100). Based on revised data, the index increased 1 percent in October and decreased 0.7 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.7 percent, with eight out of 10 components advancing, according to The Conference Board, a nonprofit research and business group. With November's increase, the six-month growth rate of the leading index picked up to about a 3.4 percent annual rate, up from an average of about 1.9 percent (annual rate) in the first half of 2005, and strength among the leading indicators has been widespread sin...
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