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The Conference Board's index of leading indicators signals "very strong near-term rates of growth"

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The index of leading economic indicators continues to signal very strong near-term rates of growth, at 0.6 percent in November following revised growth rates of 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent in the prior two months.

Once again the yield spread is the biggest positive for the index reflecting the Fed's near zero rate policy. Manufacturing orders, based on the ISM, are another strong plus in today's report as is the stock market. Credit indications are also solid.

On the negative side is November's sharp decline in building permits (posted Tuesday in the housing starts report) as well as initial unemployment claims which peaked back over 300,000 briefly late in the month. Initial claims, however, have since moved convincingly back below 300,000 as evidenced in the latest claims report posted earlier this morning.

This report is very healthy and fits in with arguments from the Fed's hawks who are warning that the economy is up and going and interest rates should be moving higher.

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