An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy rose in January by the smallest amount in five months, indicating the economy's momentum may have slowed a bit.
The New York-based Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in January, the weakest gain since a 0.1 percent rise in August. In addition, the December increase was revised lower to a 0.4 percent rise instead of the initially reported 0.5 percent increase.
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Conference Board economists say that the lack of strong momentum in residential construction and a weak outlook for new orders in manufacturing pose some downside risks for the economy.