The composite index of Leading Economic Indicators was up 0.4% in March following a revised 0.5% increase in February, first reported as a 0.6% gain, the Conference Board reported Thursday.

The coincident index gained 0.2% in March after a revised 0.2% rise in February, first reported as a 0.3% increase, while the lagging index was steady in March, after an unrevised 0.2% rise in February.

The LEI stands at 126.7, the coincident index is at 114.9 and the lagging index is at 123.6 The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2010.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted LEI would be up 0.2% in the month.

“The March increase and upward trend in the U.S. LEI point to continued economic growth in 2017, with perhaps an acceleration later in the year if consumer spending and investment pick up,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The gains among the leading indicators were very widespread, with new orders in manufacturing and the interest rate spread more than offsetting declines in the labor market components in March.”

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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.