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Leading indicators rise, point to slow growth

NEW YORK — A private research group forecasts that the economy will grow modestly over the next few months, recovering from a late-spring slump.

The Conference Board says its index of leading economic indicators rebounded in May, rising 0.8 percent. April’s index had dropped a revised 0.4 percent — the first decline since June 2010 as economic growth slowed. A string of declines would indicate that a recession was coming.

May’s reading suggests the pace of growth is similar to that of the stronger readings from earlier this year and late 2010, when the economic outlook was brighter.

Still, Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein cautions that economic growth will be “choppy” through summer and fall because of the weak housing market and high prices for food and gas.