WASHINGTON -- A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity fell in November, suggesting that growth could remain weak in the early part of next year.
The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators dropped 0.2 percent in November, compared with October, when the index had risen 0.3 percent. It was the first decline in the index since a 0.4 percent fall in August. The index is intended to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.
Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says the slight decline in the index November reflects an economy that remains weak as it faces a looming fiscal cliff.
The fiscal cliff refers to sharp increases in taxes and cuts in federal spending that could occur in January if no budget deal is reached.