The composite index of leading economic indicators grew in line with economist expectations in November, expanding 1.1%, the Conference Board said Friday.

It was the fifth consecutive monthly gain for the LEI. The coincident index grew 0.1%, while the lagging index fell 0.1%.

The LEI stands at 112.4, the coincident index at 101.7 and the lagging index at 108.6.

Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said the LEI has now increased 18 of the past 20 months.

“The coincident indicators, the best monthly measure of whether the economy is growing or not, rose slightly again in November, suggesting that the economy is continuing to grow,” Wood said in a research note.

The LEI has a baseline of 100, which reflects the level in 2004. The October LEI was revised to a 0.4% increase, after initially being reported as a 0.5% rise.

“The U.S. economy is showing some sparks of life in late 2010,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist with the Conference Board. “Overall, the indicators point to a mild pickup after a slow winter. Looking further out, possible clouds on the medium-term horizon include weaknesses in housing and employment.”

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