New data shows further increases in U.S. economic data

New data released on Monday shows that the U.S. economy may be slowly expanding as 2010 moves on, with figures for March reflecting the largest increases seen so far this year.

According to the Conference Board, its Coincident Economic Index saw an increase of 1.4 percent over the course of March as it rose to 109.6, the highest figure it has ever recorded. The increase surpassed the combined jumps in the index of 0.4 and 0.6 percent seen in February and January respectively.

Similarly, the board’s Lagging and Coincident Economic Indices also posted an increase for March, increasing 0.2 and 0.1 percent to hit 107.9 and 100.2 respectively.

“The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months. The leading, coincident and lagging series are rising, said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board. “Strength of demand remains the big question going forward. Improvement in employment and income will be the key factors in whether consumers push the recovery on a stronger path.”

Ataman Ozyildirim, another economist for the board, added that improvements in financial and labor market indicators were among the strongest signs that a recovery was indeed underway.