Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Page modified July 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

Gauge of US economy rises 0.3 percent in June

A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health increased in June for a fifth consecutive month, supporting the view that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year.


AP Economics Writer

advertising

WASHINGTON —

A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health increased in June for a fifth consecutive month, supporting the view that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year.

The Conference Board said Friday its index of leading indicators rose 0.3 percent last month. That was slightly lower than forecast but the May increase was revised up to a 0.7 percent gain, a bit stronger than first estimated.

The economy shrank sharply in the first three months of the year, reflecting the effects of a harsh winter, but economists say a rebound began in the April-June quarter and will strengthen in the second half of this year.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said that stronger consumer demand driven by sustained job gains remained "the main source of improvement for the U.S. economy."

The unemployment rate fell to a nearly six-year low of 6.1 percent in June as employers added 288,000 new jobs, marking the fifth straight monthly gain above 200,000. That is the best stretch of job growth since the tech boom of the late 1990s.

A second report Friday showed that the University of Michigan's measure of consumer confidence dipped slightly in July to a preliminary reading of 81.3, down from 82.5 in June.

Paul Diggle, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, attributed the small decline to higher gasoline prices which he said offset the strong gains recorded in the stock market and solid growth in employment.

The leading economic index is composed of 10 forward-pointing indicators. For June, six of the 10 indicators showed gains with the positive contributions including interest rates, credit availability and stock prices. The biggest drag on the index was a fall in applications for permits to build new homes and apartments.

Conference Board analysts said that the weakness in housing represented some risk to the outlook for stronger growth but they predict ted this would be offset by continued favorable conditions in the labor market.

Many economists believe that the economy, after shrinking at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter, rebound to growth close to 3 percent in the April-June quarter and will strengthen further in the second half of 2014.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Business & Technology

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Put your marker on The Seattle Times interactive map and share your fan story.

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►