The leading economic index rose 0.7% in April, indicating the U.S. is still expanding despite a first-quarter freeze. "April's sharp increase in the LEI seems to have helped stabilize its slowing trend, suggesting the paltry economic growth in the first quarter may be temporary," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board, publisher of the report. "However, the growth of the LEI does not support a significant strengthening in the economic outlook at this time." The coincident index, which measures current conditions, edged up 0.2% in April. The lagging index increased 0.1%. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.
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