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Economic Report: Leading index for U.S. economy falls in January, but there’s a catch

Fixes month for leading index and the duration of the decline.

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The U.S. is still muddling along despite a recent slowdown in growth.

The numbers: A survey of economic conditions in the U.S. fell in January and reflected a recent slowdown in growth, but there was a catch: The latest results were incomplete because of the recently ended government shutdown

The leading economic index slipped 0.1% in January, the privately run Conference Board said Thursday. It was flat in December and rose 0.1% in November.

What happened: The decline in the leading index stemmed mostly from an increase in initial jobless claims and “weaknesses in the labor market,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of economic research at the privately run board.

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