WASHINGTON — A measure of future U.S. economic activity recovered in July following a sharp drop in June, providing further evidence of an economy that is regaining some momentum.

The Conference Board says its index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4 percent in July after falling 0.4 percent in June.

The July strength came from an improvement in a number of components with the largest contributions coming from a big jump in applications for housing permits and declines in applications for unemployment benefits.

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