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Mixed indexes signal slow recovery

The U.S. leading index for September saw its first increase in five months, but economic recovery is some time away, according to the latest report from The Conference Board.

The leading index increased 0.3 percent last month. The index now stands at 100.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, the index fell 0.9 percent in August and declined 0.7 percent in July.

The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, decreased 0.5 percent in September. The coincident index now stands at 106 (2004=100). This index remained unchanged in August and decreased 0.2 percent in July.

The lagging index declined 0.2 percent in September to 112.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.5 percent in July.

The Conference Board also noted real gross domestic product growth slowed to a 1.8 percent average annual rate in the first half of the year, down from an average annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second half of 2007.

“Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the economy is unlikely to improve in the near term,” the research firm said in its report.

Click here for the complete release from The Conference Board.

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