Leading indicator data records 11th straight gain

Thu May 20, 2010 8:50am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's composite leading indicator rose by 0.9 percent in April from March, recording its 11th straight gain on a strong housing sector and rising stock markets, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The increase was greater than the 0.8 percent gain predicted by market operators.

Eight of the index's 10 components advanced in April, the same as in March, when the index climbed 1.2 percent -- revised from 1.0 percent previously.

The housing index rose by 0.8 percent as higher housing starts outweighed lower house sales. Existing home sales softened early in 2010 after reaching record highs late last year.

The hard-hit manufacturing sector, struggling to deal with the high Canadian dollar and weak U.S. markets, continued to recover. New orders rose by 0.2 percent, the third consecutive monthly increase.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish)