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U.S. Leading Indicators Rose In December

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (UPI) — The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in December, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index, which has risen for the past seven months, climbed in December to 94.3, the Conference Board said.

Economists had predicted a 0.7 percent rise based on steady gains in manufacturing, retail and employment.

The index is, essentially, a comparison to 2004, the year the Conference Board assigns a level of 100.

In December, “the gain was widespread among the leading indicators, suggesting economic conditions should improve in early 2012,” said Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim.

While the diffuse index made gains, component indexes of consumer expectations and weak credit conditions held the gains in check, Ozyildirim said.

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