A key gauge of future economic activity rose less than expected in June as headwinds from the debt ceiling debate and recent floods and tornado damage in some regions of the country kept growth moderate, the independent Conference Board said on Thursday.

The board said its Leading Economic Index increased 0.3 percent to 115.3 after a 0.8 percent increase in May to a record 114.7, which was revised upward to 114.9.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to rise 0.2 percent.

The economy faced some recent unexpected headwinds, said Ken Goldstein, a Conference Board economist. If these headwinds subside, the underlying trend of slow growth, as suggested by LEI, should be more apparent over the next few months.

(Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by James Dalgleish)