Key gauge points to slowing economy
Conference Board's leading economic indicators declines more than expected, indicating slow growth ahead.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A key gauge of future economic growth fell in April, suggesting a slowdown in the months ahead, a private research group said Thursday.
The Index of Leading Indicators slipped 0.5 percent in April to 137.3, more than economists' forecasts. The decline came after a rise in March, the Conference Board said.
The leading index is 0.7 percent below its April 2006 level, the Conference Board said.
The indicators measure things from unemployment benefit claims to building permits and are supposed to signal the economy's direction in the next three to six months.
Two of the 10 indicators made a positive contribution to the reading in April. They included stock prices and real money supply, the board said.
The negative contributors were building permits, an increase in jobless claims, manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods, index of consumer expectations, vendor performance, average weekly manufacturing hours and interest rate spread.