WASHINGTON -- The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading economic indicators, a measure of future U.S. economic activity, increased 0.4 percent in July after falling 0.4 percent in June.
The gain was propelled by improvements in a number of components, the largest being a big jump in applications for housing permits and a decline in unemployment-benefits applications.
The rebound put the index at 95.8, matching its May level, which had been the highest reading in four years.
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