(Newsroom America) -- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. returned to the May level in July, with economists saying the indicators are for slow growth through the end of 2012.
The LEI for the U.S. increased 0.4 percent in July to 95.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent decline in June, and a 0.3 percent increase in May.
Economist at The Conference Board, Ataman Ozyildirim, said with this month's increase, the U.S. LEI returned to its May level.
"The majority of its components improved, led by large contributions from housing permits and initial unemployment claims. The LEI's six-month growth rate seems to be stabilizing, pointing to a continuing but slow expansion in economic activity for the rest of the year.
"Meanwhile, the coincident economic index, a measure of current conditions, has been rising slowly but steadily, with all four components improving over the last six months," he said.
And economist Ken Goldstein said the indicators point to slow growth through the end of 2012.
"Lack of domestic demand remains a big issue. However, back-to-school sales are better than expected, suggesting that the consumer is starting to come back. Retail sales this time of year are often an indicator of how the holiday season will turn out."