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Measure of future US economic activity up 0.2 pct.


February 19. 2013 6:28PM
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(AP) A measure of the U.S. economy intended to signal future activity rose only slightly last month, suggesting growth could stay weak.


The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in October after a 0.5 percent gain in September. The index is intended to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.


The strength in October came from lower interest rates, a drop in applications for unemployment benefits, and an increase in demand for large manufactured goods.


Applications for unemployment aid have spiked this month because Superstorm Sandy closed businesses and cut off power to 8 million homes in 10 states. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren't paid.


Associated Press


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