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May 22, 2014 10:15 AM, EDT
Gain in US Leading Index Points to Q2 Rebound

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in April for the fourth straight month, showing the economy will strengthen after a slowdown earlier this year.

The Conference Board’s index, a gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months, rose 0.4% after a revised 1% gain in March that was larger than previously reported, the New York-based group said May 22. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 0.4% advance.

The gain indicates the first-quarter slowdown was more the result of harsh weather than underlying weakness in the expansion.

Faster job growth that leads to a pickup in wages would help further boost consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy.

“It’s a slow, still-uneven recovery, but still modest growth,” Kenneth Kim, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research in Princeton, New Jersey, said before the report. “It’s kind of idling gains, not very strong.”

Estimates in the Bloomberg News survey ranged from gains of 0.2% to 0.6%.