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Released: Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in February, following a 0.3 percent gain in January, and a 1.2 percent rise in December.

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Says Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board: "The LEI for the U.S. has risen rapidly for almost a year now and it has reached its highest level. But, the sharp pick up in the LEI appears to be stabilizing. As the economy moves from recovery into early phases of an expansion, the leading economic index points to moderately improving economic conditions in the near term. Correspondingly, the coincident economic index has been rising since July 2009, albeit slightly because of continued weakness in employment."

Adds Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board: "The indicators point to a slow recovery this summer. Going forward, the big question remains the strength of demand. Without increased consumer demand, job growth will likely be minimal over the next few months."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. rose 0.1 percent in February, following no change in January, and a 0.1 percent increase in December. The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) increased 0.3 percent in February, following a 0.2 percent decline in January, and a 0.4 percent decline in December.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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