A broad measure of how well the U.S. economy is performing surged in June after a strong gain in May, suggesting growth could speed up in the months ahead.
The leading economic index jumped 0.6% last month after a revised 0.4% increase in May, the Conference Board said Thursday.
“The U.S. LEI rose sharply in June, pointing to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement in GDP growth in the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at the board.
The improvement in the index was spearheaded by strong housing permits after several months of weakness. Home builders plan to step up construction to meet rising demand as the economy enters is ninth year of expansion.
The U.S. got off to a slow start in 2017, and although growth accelerated in the spring, the economy is still not expanding full bore despite the strongest labor market in more than a decade.[“Source-marketwatch”]