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Released: Monday, April 19, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.4 percent in March, following a 0.4 percent gain in February, and a 0.6 percent rise in January. The U.S. LEI is now at its highest level.

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Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: "The U.S. LEI has risen steadily for a year, and its six-month growth rate has remained fairly stable in recent months — led by improvements in financial and labor market indicators. Payroll employment made its first substantial contribution to the coincident economic index, suggesting a recovery that is beginning to gain traction."

Adds Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: "The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months. The leading, coincident and lagging series are rising. Strength of demand remains the big question going forward. Improvement in employment and income will be the key factors in whether consumers push the recovery on a stronger path."

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

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

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