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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the US rose by 0.8% to 120.8 in December, after increasing 0.7% in both November and October. The index’s growth indicates that the economy will continue to improve over the next few months. 

The Coincident Economic Index and the Lagging Economic Index each inched up 0.2% for the month, reaching 107.4 and 109.4, respectively.

“For the first quarter, headwinds from the Omicron variant, labor shortages, and inflationary pressures — as well as the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hikes — may moderate economic growth,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. Although The Conference Board anticipates gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow to 2.2% (annualized) for the first quarter of this year, “for all of 2022, we forecast the US economy will expand by a robust 3.5% — well above the pre-pandemic trend growth.”