The Conference Board Leading Economic Index rose 0.5% in November to 118.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9% rise in October and a 0.1% bump in September.

“November’s increase in the LEI for the U.S. was widespread among the leading indicators—and continues to suggest that the risk of an economic downturn in the near term has receded,” said Ataman Ozyildirum, an economist with The Conference Board. “Interest rate spread and housing permits made the largest contributions to the LEI this month, overcoming a falling average workweek in manufacturing, which reversed its October gain. The Coincident Economic Index also rose—by 0.1% in November to 103.7 (2004 = 100)—on improving employment and personal income, although industrial production fell in November.”

Ken Goldstein, also an economist with The Conference Board, added: “The LEI is pointing to continued growth this winter, possibly even gaining momentum by spring. For the second month in a row, building permits made a relatively strong contribution, and there is a chance that the long decline in housing is finally slowing. However, this somewhat positive outlook for the domestic economy is at odds with a global economy that appears to be losing steam. In particular a deeper-than-expected recession in Europe could easily derail the outlook for the U.S. economy.”

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