Leading economic indicators rise again, point to slow recovery

The green shoots continue to sprout, perhaps soaking up that strong July sunshine.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.7 percent in June -- its third straight monthly increase -- the Conference Board announced Monday. The Board added that composite indexes suggest that the U.S. recession "will continue to ease and the economy may begin to recover in the near term."

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the index to rise 0.5 percent in June. The index rose 1.2 in May and 1.1 percent in April. The LEI index now stands at 100.9. (Base year, 2004 =100.) During the six-month span through June, the leading economic index increased 2.0 percent, with five out of ten components advancing.