NEW YORK (AP) _ A key gauge of economic activity rose 0.5 percent in May, a signal that the U.S. economy is poised to recover, albeit at a slow pace.
The New York-based Conference Board said Wednesday that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators edged higher last month to 109.3 after moving up 0.1 percent in April.
Analysts were expecting a 0.3 percent increase.
Ken Goldstein, an economist for the Conference Board, said business activity is starting to improve after the economic slowdown that began early last year.
The ``latest readings suggest the U.S. economy may be poised for some recovery,'' Goldstein said.
The index is closely watched because it indicates where the overall U.S. economy is headed in the next three to six months. It stood at 100 in 1996, its base year.
Stocks moved higher early Wednesday following the release of the report. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 67 points to 10,664 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 15 points at 2,008.