The Conference Board released its leading economic index for the U.S. on Thursday. The leading economic index climbed by 0.7% in April, beating expectations a 0.3% gain, after a 0.4% increase in March. March's figure was revised up from a 0.2% rise.
The increase was driven by higher building permits. Seven of the ten indicators rose.
The Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said that the reading suggests that the weakness of the economy in the first quarter was temporary. But he added that the index does not suggest "a significant strengthening in the economic outlook at this time".
The improvement in building permits helped to drive the index up this month, but gains in other components, in particular the financial indicators, have been somewhat more muted," Ozyildirim noted.