May 22, 2014 / 2:17 PM / in 3 years

U.S. leading economic indicators post third straight rise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic activity rose for a third straight month in April, suggesting the economy continues to gather strength after a sharp slowdown at the start of the year.

The private-sector Conference Board said on Thursday that its Leading Economic Index rose 0.4 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.0 percent gain in March. Economists had expected the index to rise 0.3 percent.

"This latest report suggests the economy will continue to expand, and may even pick up steam through the second half of the year," Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said in a statement.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Andrea Ricci nW1N0NL00D

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