NEW YORK (AP) -- A private research group says its monthly forecast of economic activity rose unexpectedly in December, mostly because the flood of federal bailouts increased the money supply.
The New York-based Conference Board's monthly forecast of economic activity increased 0.3 percent in December. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a 0.3 percent decline.
The group's index of leading economic indicators had fallen 0.4 percent in November and a revised 1.0 percent in October.
With nearly every component but the money supply in decline, the Conference Board said unemployment could rise to 9 percent from 7.2 percent as the country remains in an intense recession through spring.