June 19, 2014 10:10 AM, EDT
Leading Economic Indicators Rise for Fourth Month

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in May for the fourth straight month, showing the economy will gain momentum after a slowdown at the start of 2014.

The Conference Board’s gauge, a measure of the outlook for the next three to six months, increased 0.5% after a 0.3% gain in April, the New York-based group said June 19. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.6% advance.

“The economy has some momentum,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. “Housing is a drag, but the financial components should provide some lift.”

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 0.2% to 0.8%. The April reading initially was reported as a 0.4% increase.

“The economy is finally moving up from a 2 % growth trend to a more robust expansion,” Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “Going forward, the biggest challenge is to sustain the rise in income growth, which will drive consumption.”