ECONOMY

Gauge of US economy increases 0.5 percent in December, fourth straight solid gain

  • FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2014 file photo, specialist Jason Hardzewicz works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  The Conference Board releases its index of leading indicators for December on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2014 file photo, specialist Jason Hardzewicz works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Conference Board releases its index of leading indicators for December on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 photo, workers weld at a commercial construction site in Boston. The Conference Board releases its index of leading indicators for December on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    In this Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 photo, workers weld at a commercial construction site in Boston. The Conference Board releases its index of leading indicators for December on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)  (The Associated Press)

An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy posted a fourth straight solid gain in December.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.5 percent in December after a revised gain of 0.4 percent in November. The index also posted solid gains in September and October after a flat reading in August.

The December increase reflected strength in a number of components of the index. Conference Board economists said this suggested the economy was gaining momentum at the end of last year.