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U.S. Leading Indicators Show Risk Rising

September 22, 2011 by  

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) — The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent in August, but economic risks are rising, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index in August rose to 116.2, posting an increase for the third consecutive month, having risen 0.5 percent in July and 0.3 percent in June.

“The August increase in the U.S. LEI was driven by components measuring financial and monetary conditions which offset substantially weaker components measuring expectations,” Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said.

Instead of showing a more robust recovery, on balance, “the leading indicators point to rising risks and volatility, and increasing concerns about the health of the expansion,” Ozyildirim said.

“There is growing risk that sustained weak confidence could put downward pressure on demand and business activity, causing the economy to potentially dip into recession,” board economist Ken Goldstein said.

“While the chance of that remains below 50-50, the odds have certainly increased in recent months.”

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