RTTNews - Thursday morning, the Conference Board released its report on leading economic indicators in the month of May, showing that its leading indicators index increased by a little more than economists had been anticipating.

The report showed that the leading indicators index rose 1.2 percent in May following an upwardly revised 1.1 percent increase in April. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.0 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

Positive contributions from vendor performance, the interest rate spread, real money supply, stock prices, consumer expectations, and building permits resulted in the increase by the index.

The positive contributions more than offset negative contributions from weekly hours and initial unemployment claims.

The Conference Board noted that the index rose 1.2 percent between November 2008 and May 2009, the first time the index has increased over a six-month period since April 2007.

At the same time, the report showed that coincident index fell 0.2 percent in May following a 0.3 percent decrease in April. The modest decrease reflected further declines in industrial production and employment.

The lagging index also fell 0.2 percent in May after showing a 0.8 percent drop in the previous month. The continued decrease by the lagging index reflected negative contributions from all seven components.

With the coincident index and the lagging index falling by the same amount, the coincident-to-lagging ratio remained unchanged.

The Conference Board said, All in all, the behavior of the composite indexes continues to suggest that the recession that began in December 2007 will likely ease in the near term.

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