updated 9/18/2003 4:27:05 AM ET 2003-09-18T08:27:05

A closely watched gauge of future economic activity rose in August for the fourth consecutive month, even as a measure of the current business climate stalled.

THE CONFERENCE BOARD reported Thursday that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.4 percent in August to 113.3, in line with analysts’ expectations. The rise in the August reading followed a revised 0.7 percent increase in July.

But the improvement in the economic outlook was tempered by stagnation in the board’s reading of the current business climate.

“The economy is improving, although the road will remain bumpy,” board economist Ken Goldstein said. “With export growth still months away, the growth burden remains on consumer spending and business investment.”

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