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Leading economic indicators up eight months in a row

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index increased 0.9 percent in November, following a 0.3 percent gain in October and a 1.2 percent jump in September.

"The Conference Board LEI has been on an uptrend for more than half a year and it is now slightly higher than its latest peak in July 2007," said Ataman Ozyildirim, a Conference Board economist. "Improving financial conditions, labor market indicators, and housing permits have helped the LEI continue its gains in November. However, its six-month growth rate has slowed somewhat in recent months."

Added Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein, "The indicators point to a bright new year. The U.S. LEI increased for the eighth consecutive month. Looking ahead, we can expect a slowly improving economy through 2010. The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index™ (CEI) for the U.S. also increased in November. Employment largely held steady, making this the first month since December 2007 that it did not make a negative contribution to the index."