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Leading Economic Indicators Manage Small Rise in May


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. eked out a small gain in May to continue a rising trend that began in April 2009, according to the latest report from The Conference Board.

The U.S. LEI rose 0.4% in May, following no change in April and a 1.4% gain in March.

"The index points to continued, though slower, U.S. growth for the rest of this year," said Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board. "Public debt and deficits weigh heavily on growth prospects on both sides of the Atlantic. We project a serious slowdown in European growth in 2011, which could further weaken the U.S. outlook."

Although rising for more than a year, the LEI growth rate has been slower in 2010.

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) also rose 0.4% in May, following a 0.4% gain in April and 0.3% increase in March.

The LEI stands 12% above its most recent trough in March 2001, said The Conference Board news release. It is 4.6% above its most recent peak in December 2006.

The CEI is 2% above its most recent trough last June and 5.4% below its peak in December 2007.

Read the complete news release from The Conference Board here.