The composite index of leading economic indicators fell 0.5% in October, the Conference Board reported Wednesday. LEI increased a revised 0.1% in September, originally reported as a 0.3% increase. The coincident index was flat after an unrevised 0.2% gain in September, while the lagging index was up 0.3% after a revised 0.4% gain in September, originally reported as a 0.5% increase. Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted LEI would be down 0.3% in the month. “The data are pointing to a continued slow economy,” according to the Conference Board labor economist Ken Goldstein. “It might even slow a little more after the holidays. Business confidence could edge lower, with unrelenting concerns about price increases not keeping up with wage pressures. At the same time, consumers worry about wages not keeping up with price increases. Clearly, where the economy is headed in the early months of 2008 is heavily dependent on perceptions about price.”

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