February 17, 2012 10:30 AM, EST

Leading Indicators Rise in December

An index of leading economic indicators rose in December for a third straight month, the New York-based Conference Board said Thursday.

The index climbed 0.4% after a 0.2% gain last month.

Economists had forecast a 0.7% gain, Bloomberg reported.

The LEI is closely watched by trucking companies because it forecasts business activity for the next three to six months.