The closely watched index of leading US economic indicators from the Conference Board posted its fastest growth of 2002 in November.

The barometer – a gauge of future economic conditions – beat analysts’ expectations with a rise of 0.7%, the highest monthly gain since December 2001. November’s increase follows a revised 0.1% climb in October and brings the index to a reading of 112.3.

Explaining the uplift, Conference Board chief economist Ken Goldstein commented: “The financial market slump seems to be lifting a little this autumn. Recent consumer buying figures have somewhat allayed fears about a weak holiday season, and consumer attitudes have also improved.”

In total, five of the ten indicators used to compile the index posted an increase, four declined and one stayed flat.

The index now stands 3.6% above its most recent nadir of March 2001, having fully recovered from a series of falls since May this year.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff