By Mark Memmott
The unemployment figures aren't looking very good, but the barometer that's supposed to signal how the economy will be doing in coming months keeps edging up.
The private Conference Board says its "leading economic index" rose 1.1% in December -- the ninth month in a row it has gone up.
Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board, says in a statement that the index is pointing to "an economy in early recovery."
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