WASHINGTON Jan 20 The U.S. economic recovery
is broadening and could strengthen slightly in the near term,
according to a private industry group's index of economic
indicators released on Thursday.
The Conference Board's measure of leading indicators rose 1
percent in December, taking the index to a record high of
112.4. The December gain was bigger than the 0.6 percent
increase that economists polled by Reuters had expected.
"All in all, the current behavior of the composite indexes
and their components suggest that the economic expansion that
began in mid-2009 will continue, and could even pick up
slightly in the near term," the Conference Board wrote.
Six of the 10 leading indicators increased in December.
Building permits and the interest rate spread were among the
biggest advancers, more than offsetting the drag from a weak
reading on supplier deliveries.