An index of leading economic indicators increased 0.8% in November after a 0.1% rise in October, the New York-based Conference Board said Dec. 19.
The increase was more than economists’ medium forecast of 0.7%, Bloomberg News reported.
“The economy is generating more momentum, that’s the bottom line,” Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies, told Bloomberg. “We have steadily seen the economy grow faster over the course of 2013, and that suggests that the economic expansion is getting more strength.”
The LEI is closely watched by trucking companies because it forecasts business activity for the next three to six months.
In a separate report, the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index rose to 7.0 in December from 6.5 in November.
New orders climbed to 15.4 in December from 11.8 in November, and shipments jumped to 13.3 in December from 5.6 in November.
Readings below zero indicate contraction, and those above show expansion.
The Philadelphia Fed surveys about 100 manufacturers for the index in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey.