The Conference Board announced Thursday that the U.S. leading index increased 0.1 percent in September, after declines in July and August.A weakening amount of manufacturing new orders of non-defense goods and housing permits contributed to the largest negative contributions in the leading index from March to September. Five of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors include consumer expectations, real money supply, stock prices, and average weekly initial claims for unemployment and manufacturer’s new orders for non-defense goods. The negative contributors include building permits, average weekly manufacturing hours, vendor performance, interest rate spread and manufacturer’s new orders for consumer goods and materials. The leading index currently stands at 137.7.