The composite of the Leading Economic Index was up 0.6% in December following a revised 0.5% increase in November, first reported as a 0.4% gain, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The coincident index gained 0.3% in December after a revised 0.1% rise in November, first reported as a 0.3% increase, while the lagging index soared 0.7% in December, after a 0.1% increase in November.

The LEI stands at 107.0, the coincident index is at 102.8 and the lagging index is at 104.0 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2016.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted LEI would be up 0.5% in the month.

“The U.S. LEI continued rising rapidly in December, pointing to a continuation of strong economic growth in the first half of 2018. The passing of the tax plan is likely to provide even more tailwind to the current expansion,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The gains among the leading indicators have been widespread, with most of the strength concentrated in new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, improving stock markets and financial conditions.”

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.