The U.S. leading-economic-indicators index rose by a sharp 1.1% in November, the Conference Board said Monday. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.9% gain.
Over the last six months, the index is up 4.6%.
The increase signals the economy will continue to expand in the first half of 2022, although the resurgence of COVID-19 along with persistent inflation and supply-chain risks remain, said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at the Conference Board.
“Still, the economic impact of these risks may be contained,” he added.
Eight out of 10 subcomponents increased in November, led by jobless claims, equity prices and the Treasury yield curve.
The coincident index, which measures current conditions, rose 0.3% in November after a 0.5% gain in the prior month, while the lagging index fell 0.1%.
The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.
The latest data confirm the economy was booming in the fourth quarter prior to the emergence of the omicron variant, said Mahir Rasheed, economist at Oxford Economics.