The Conference Board's index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose for the fifth straight month in August. The streak represents the longest string of LEI gains in five years. The data further bolsters our view that growth likely began in June and will continue to strengthen through the end of the year. The index was up 0.6 percent in August after a jump of 0.9 percent in July.
Stock price gains, consumer confidence, and homebuilding increases helped push the leading index higher as more and more economists are beginning to finally share our view of much better than lackluster results in the second half.
"This is another signal that economic growth is turning sharply positive this quarter," said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital. "All of the elements for a robust recovery are falling into place. As we look ahead, job losses will end and the unemployment rate will stop rising..."
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