The Conference Board said the U.S. leading index increased 1.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.7 percent in January. The leading index increased sharply in January, and it has increased in five of the last six months. The leading index increased 2.3 percent from July 2005 to January 2006 (a 4.7 percent annual rate). The strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators were balanced through mid-2005, and the strength has become
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