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U.S. economy softens in April, leading index shows

Mount Equity Group Tokyo Japan > News > Markets > U.S. economy softens in April, leading index shows

The numbers: The U.S. leading index fell 0.3% in April largely because of lower home-building permits and a decline in consumer confidence, pointing to slower growth in the economy in the months ahead.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a flat reading.

The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to show whether the economy is getting better or worse.

Big picture: The U.S. economy is in pretty good shape. Consumers are still spending plenty of money and businesses are hiring and investing.

Yet the Federal Reserve is on course to raise interest rates swiftly in the next year to try cool off inflation, raising the prospect that the economy could slow.

Key details: A measure of current economic condition rose 0.4% in April, the Conference Board said Thursday. The privately run company is the publisher of the report.

The so-called lagging index — a look of sorts…

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