By Kimberly Chin


An economic index that measures U.S. business trends fell in June, marking the first decline since the end of last year.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index fell 0.3% to 111.5 in June. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the index reading to be unchanged from the prior month.

Weakness in new orders for manufacturing, housing permits and unemployment insurance claims negatively pressured the index.

"As the U.S. economy enters its eleventh year of expansion, the longest in U.S. history, the LEI suggests growth is likely to remain slow in the second half of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at the Conference Board.

Comprising 10 factors including initial claims for jobless benefits, factory orders and the S&P 500's price change, the index is intended to signal swings in the business cycle and to smooth out some of the volatility of individual indicators.

The board's coincident index, designed to reflect current economic conditions, rose 0.1% to 105.9 in June, and the lagging index increased 0.6% to 107.7.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 18, 2019 10:50 ET (14:50 GMT)

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