* Index rises 0.2 pct in December, same as in Nov.
* Housing index falls; other components flat or up
OTTAWA Jan 29 Canada's composite leading
indicator rose 0.2 percent in December, matching the rise in the
previous two months, but it showed strength across a broader
range of sectors, a report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute
said on Tuesday.
The financial sector remained a source of growth in
December, commodity prices held steady, and the manufacturing
sector rebounded slightly from November, the private think tank
The housing index was the only one of 10 components to fall,
down for the sixth straight month, but less sharply than in
"The gradual improvement in the leading index - from no
growth in July to diffuse gains by year-end - points to a
pick-up in economic growth as 2013 unfolds," said Philip Cross,
research coordinator at the institute and the former chief
economic analyst at the state agency, Statistics Canada.
Cross developed a modified version of the composite leading
indicator that was previously published by Statscan but which
the agency discontinued in May 2012. The Macdonald-Laurier
Institute's first release of the revamped indicator was in
October of last year.
Macdonald-Laurier says that on average the new index signals
recessions with a lead time of 7.4 months.