The composite index of Leading Economic Indicators was up 0.2% in October following a revised 0.9% increase in September, the Conference Board reported Wednesday.
The coincident index gained 0.2% in October after a revised 0.3% rise in September, first reported as a 0.2% increase, while the lagging index grew 0.3% after a revised 0.5% gain in September, initially reported as a 0.6% rise.
The LEI stands at 97.5, the coincident index is at 106.9 and the lagging index is at 119.7 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2004.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be unchanged in the month.
"The US LEI has increased for four consecutive months," said the Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. "Overall, the data reflect strengthening conditions in the underlying economy. However, headwinds still persist from the labor market, accompanied by business caution and concern about federal budget battles. The biggest challenge to date has been relatively weak consumer demand, which continues to be restrained by weak wage growth and slumping confidence."
"The modest rise in the Leading Economic Index in October follows the strong advances recorded in the prior two months, which helps lift the six-month annualized growth rate to 5.1 percent from 3.7 percent in the previous six months," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board. "The recent increase in the index supports our forecast that the U.S. economy is poised to grow somewhat faster at 2.3 percent in 2014 compared to 1.6 percent in 2013. Within the details, the sub-indexes contributing positively to growth are the financial, housing and manufacturing variables. Restraining growth is the ongoing caution of businesses that continue to keep tight reins on capital expenditures."