NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A gauge meant to forecast the economy's direction fell for the fourth straight month in September, a research group reported Thursday, matching forecasts on Wall Street.
The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators fell 0.1 percent last month, a smaller drop than August's 0.3 percent decline. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a 0.1 percent drop.
The index is meant to forecast the economy's direction in the next six to nine months.
Pulling the index lower were initial jobless claims and consumer goods orders while building permits edged higher in the month.
Economic weakness in the last four months has become more widespread, but declines in the leading index have not been large enough or persistent enough to signal an end to the current economic expansion, the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, said in a statement.