December 23, 2013 – The nonmetallic mineral products leading index increased 0.7 percent to 232.0 in November from a revised 230.5 in October. However, its 6-month smoothed growth rate remained at the revised 7.0 percent growth rate of October. The 6-month smoothed growth rate is a compound annual rate that measures the near-term trend. A growth rate above +1.0 percent is usually a signal of future growth in industry activity, while a growth rate below -1.0 percent points to a decrease in activity. Although the leading index growth rate has slowed considerably since May, it has remained high enough to suggest that the recovery in nonmetallic mineral products industry activity is likely to continue in the near future. Steadily rising employment is spurring growth in the residential construction sector, which bodes well for nonmetallic mineral products consumption. Furthermore, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau show nonresidential construction spending increasing modestly.