05/21/2015 10:27 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Gauge of future health of US economy posts strong 0.7 per cent increase in April

WASHINGTON - An index designed to predict the future health of the economy posted a strong gain in April, a positive sign that the economy is beginning to accelerate from a sharp slowdown during the winter.The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose 0.7 per cent and the March increase was revised up to show a 0.4 per cent gain, better than the initial 0.2 per cent estimate. Those two gains followed a decline of 0.2 per cent in February.Economists at the Conference Board say that the solid rebound in April is evidence that the paltry economic performance during the first quarter should be a temporary slowdown.