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Economy Slows Down in August After Large June, July Gains

cutting-moneyLeading U.S. economic indicators took a small step forward in August, backing off from larger increases recorded during the summer.

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.2 percent last month to 103.8, half the increase expected by economists. The index grew 1.1 percent in July and 0.7 percent in June.

"The LEI continued to rise in August, although at a slower rate than in July," said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board. "The LEI's six-month growth trend has been held back slightly by lackluster contributions from housing permits and new orders for nondefense capital orders. Despite concerns about investment picking up, the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace for the remainder of the year."

The group's measure of current economic indicators also edged up 0.2 percent to 109.7, slightly better than July's gain as personal income, employment, and retail sales continued to make strides.

Meanwhile, the lagging index increased 0.3 percent to 125.1.

"The leading indicators point to an economy that is continuing to gain traction, but most likely won’t repeat its stellar second quarter performance in the second half," said Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board. "Meanwhile, the CEI, a measure of current economic activity, continued to expand through August, amid improving personal income, employment and retail sales. However, industrial production registered a slight decrease for the first time in seven months."

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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