Leading Indicators Point to Slow Growth

Leading Indicators Point to Slow Growth

A gauge of future economic activity rose slightly in September, suggesting continued slow growth for the U.S. economy into next year.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent last month. It edged up 0.1 percent in August, down from the initial 0.3 percent estimate.

“More than a year after the recession officially ended, the economy is slow and has no forward momentum,” said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. He said the leading indicators index “suggests little change in economic conditions through the holidays or the early months of 2011.”

By The Numbers: Cass Freight Index.

The index had grown steeply since April 2009, fueled by a rising stock market, record-low interest rates and a rebound in manufacturing. The rate of expansion slowed this summer as U.S. economic growth slowed, but the Conference Board said the index does not indicate a relapse into recession.

The group said five of the 10 measures which make up the index increased in September. The most positive indicators were the interest rate spread and average weekly jobless claims. The biggest negatives were vendor deliveries and building permits.

-- Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com.