A gauge of future economic activity inched up in July, a research group said Monday, indicating economic growth will pick up slightly in coming months despite turmoil in the housing market.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in July, as analysts were expecting. The index fell 0.3 percent in June, after rising 0.2 percent in May.

The report is designed for forecast economic activity over the next three to six months.

The Conference Board report tracks 10 economic indicators. The advancing components in July were consumer expectations, vendor performance, unemployment claims, real money supply, stock prices and manufacturers' orders for consumer goods and materials.

The negative contributors housing permits, manufacturers' new orders for non-defense capital goods and interest rate spread. Weekly manufacturing hours held steady.