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Following is the text of the U.S. leading economic indicators from the Conference Board.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in January to 112.3 (2004 = 100), following a revised 0.8 percent increase in December, and a 1.1 percent increase in November.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “With January’s slight increase, following two large gains, the U.S. LEI is still pointing to economic expansion in the coming months. Falling housing permits and weakening labor market indicators were barely offset by the continued positive contributions of the financial components. The LEI remains on a rising trend, with its growth rate picking up in recent months. However, current economic conditions, as measured by the coincident economic index, while improving slowly, remain weak.”

Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The economy gained some momentum in late fall, and the latest data suggest that trend will continue. The cumulative change in the U.S. LEI over the last six months is a sharp 3.0 percent, signaling continued expansion.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in January to 102.1 (2004 = 100), following a revised 0.3 percent increase in December, and a 0.2 percent increase in November. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index declined 0.1 percent in January to 107.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in December, and a 0.3 percent decline in November.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S.

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component - primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing

Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance

Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials

Index of supplier deliveries - vendor performance

Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods

Building permits, new private housing units

Stock prices, 500 common stocks

Money supply, M2

Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds

Index of consumer expectations

The next release is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 2011 at 10 A.M. ET.

SOURCE: The Conference Board

Chris Middleton in Washington at +1-202-624-1993 or

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