12/19/2013 10:26 EST | Updated 02/18/2014 05:59 EST

Gauge of the US economy's health posted solid 0.8 per cent gain in November

WASHINGTON - A measure of the U.S. economy's health posted a solid gain in November, suggesting momentum was building at the end of the year.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.8 per cent in November compared with October, when the index had posted a much smaller 0.1 per cent gain. The index rose 1 per cent in September, the month before the 16-day partial government shutdown.

The index is designed to signal economic conditions over the next three to six months.

Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said that the November index increase suggested "gradually strengthening economic conditions through early 2014."

The November gain was driven by improvements in labour markets, manufacturing orders and strong financial market indicators reflecting in part stock market gains.