Leading Indicators Up for Third Straight Month

It appears there's another strong light -- or at least a flickering candle -- in the increasingly bright U.S. economy.

The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose .7% in June, the third consecutive month it saw an increase, according to the Conference Board. Economists had expected a .5% increase.

While the gain is not as strong as the last two months -- the index jumped 1% in April and 1.3% in May -- it is the first time the index has climbed three months in a row since 2004.

Interest-rate spreads, stock prices, building permits and jobless claims contributed to the gain, while falling money supply, orders for capital goods and consumer expectations, weighed down the index. In all, seven of the 10 indicators tracked in the report were positive.

The coincident index fell .2% in June, after a revised drop of 0.3% in May.

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