New York More plans to build homes, higher stock prices and fewer people filing first-time claims for jobless aid sent a private-sector forecast of U.S. economic activity higher than expected in June.
It was the third straight monthly increase for the New York-based Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators, and another sign pointing toward the recession ending later this year.
The index rose 0.7 percent last month. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a gain of 0.4 percent. May’s reading was revised up to a gain of 1.3 percent from 1.2 percent, while April was scaled back to 1 percent growth from 1.1 percent.
The group also said activity in the six-month period through June rose 2 percent, with an annual growth rate of 4.1 percent. That’s the strongest rate since the first quarter of 2006.