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9:25am

Fri November 18, 2011
The Two-Way

'Leading Indicators' Rise Sharply

An index that's designed to forecast how the economy will be doing in coming months rose a solid 0.9 percent in October from September, the business research group The Conference Board reports. It had risen just 0.1 percent in September and had fallen 0.3 percent in August.

One of the group's economists, Ataman Ozyildirim, says in its report that "the October rebound of the [leading economic index] — largely due to the sharp pick-up in housing permits — suggests that the risk of an economic downturn has receded."

As we said on Wednesday, "though the U.S. faces lots of problems, there are some encouraging signs out there too," and today's reports is another.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.