The index of leading economic indicators rose in July for the fourth month in a row, the Commerce Department said, strongly suggesting that the recession is over.
The department said the index rose 1.3 percent in July after revised gains of 0.3 percent in June, 0.7 percent in May, and 1.4 percent in April. Many analysts believe the index signals a clear trend when it moves in the same direction for more than three months in a row. Seven of 10 index components moved forward last month, and the three declines were relatively slight, the department said. Indicators showing positive movement were the length of the workweek, claims for unemployment insurance, orders for consumer goods in inflation-adjusted dollars, orders for plant and equipment, building permits, changes in raw-materials prices, and the money supply.