US leading economic index rose by 0.4 percent in April, suggesting solid economic growth should continue in the second half, the Conference Board showed on Thursday. The increase by the leading economic index partly reflected improvements by the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March. On the other hand, negative contributions from stock prices and housing permits limited the upside for the leading index. The Conference Board also said the coincident economic index increased by 0.3 percent in April after rising by 0.2 percent in March. The lagging economic index also rose by 0.3 percent in April after edging down by 0.1 percent in the previous month.