Index indicates growth continuing to year’s end


WASHINGTON — A gauge of the U.S. economy’s health rose in July, pointing to stronger growth in the second half of the year.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.6 percent last month to a reading of 96. The increase followed no change in June and a 0.2 percent increase in May.

The index from the business research group is comprised of several previously released data points and can signal economic conditions over the next three to six months.

The solid gain suggests economic growth is picking up after a weak start this year.