Key economic signs trace strong, 3rd-in-a-row uptick

The index of leading indicators, designed to show where the economy is headed , rose sharply in August for the third consecutive month, a strong signal the nation has licked the recession and is ready for recovery, the Commerce Department reported. The index increased 1.9 percent last month, after revised gains of 3.7 percent in July and 1 percent in June. Economists caution that the size of increases or decreases in the index do not necessarily translate into comparable movements in the economy. It is generally conceded, however, that three consecutive gains in the index suggest a definite trend upward.

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