June 21, 2012 / 2:17 PM / 7 years ago

Leading economic indicators rebound in May

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic activity rebounded in May, the Conference Board said on Thursday, suggesting the economy remained on moderate growth path.

The group’s Leading Economic Index rose 0.3 percent to 95.8 after slipping 0.1 percent in April, and beating economists’ expectations for a 0.1 percent gain.

However, gains in the index last month were capped by a slight shortening of the average workweek in manufacturing, an ebb in consumer confidence and weak stock market prices.

“Economic data in general reflect a U.S. economy that is growing modestly, neither losing nor gaining momentum. The result is more of a muddle through,” said Ken Goldstein an economist at the Conference Board.

“Continued headwinds, both domestic and foreign, make further strengthening of the economy difficult.”

Data ranging from employment to manufacturing and retail sales, suggest the economy has lost steam, leading the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to offer more monetary stimulus further by extending its so-called Operation Twist program to hold down interest rates through the end of the year.

Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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