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News Summary: Gauge Of US Economic Prospects Rises

By The Associated Press

SLIM GROWTH: A measure of the U.S. economy's future direction edged up 0.2 percent in January, suggesting slow growth will continue in the coming months.

THE OUTLOOK: The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose to 94.1 last month after a rise of 0.5 percent in December. The gauge is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.

REALITY VS. EXPECTATIONS: Rising stock prices, falling applications for unemployment benefits and a gain in housing permits drove the index higher. A fall in consumer expectations about the economy and declining new orders for factory goods limited the gain.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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