Leading Indicators in U.S. Increase by Most in Four Months

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in October by the most in four months as still-low interest rates, rising stock prices and an increase in building permits signaled the economy will strengthen.

The Conference Board’s measure of the economic outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.6 percent after declining 0.1 percent in September, the New York-based research group said Thursday.

“Despite lackluster third-quarter growth, the economic outlook now appears to be improving,” Ataman Ozyildirim, director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “The U.S. economy remains on track for continued expansion heading into 2016.”

The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 38 economists called for a 0.5 percent advance. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.1 percent to 0.8 percent.

Nine of the 10 indicators of the composite gauge climbed last month, led by the spread between short- and long-term interest rates, gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and an increase in the number of applications for new construction projects. Only the Institute for Supply Management’s factory new-orders gauge showed a decline.

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