An improving job market and increasing factory production in March contributed to a jump in the U.S. index of leading indicators that signals the pace of economic growth is poised to snap back.
The Conference Board’s index, a gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months, rose 0.8 percent, the most since November, after a 0.5 percent gain in February, the New York-based group said today. The measure’s 6.1 percent advance over the past year is the biggest since July 2011.
“The fact that we’re seeing some broad improvement across components bodes pretty well for the economy,” said Sarah House, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is the best forecaster of the leading index over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The underlying pace of activity is picking up.”
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