WASHINGTON A gauge of future U.S. economic activity edged higher in October, suggesting that resilience in the housing and factory sectors was making up for businesses reticence to invest in new equipment.
The Conference Board said on Wednesday that its Leading Economic Index rose 0.2 percent to 97.5 in October. That is sharply slower than growth in the prior two months, but beat expectations in a Reuters poll for a flat reading.
"The recent increase in the index supports our forecast that the U.S. economy is poised to grow somewhat faster" in 2014, said Kathy Bostjancic, an economist at The Conference Board.
Housing, financial and manufacturing sub-indexes contributed to growth, while weak capital expenditures were a drag on the index, the private group said.