The Iowa Leading Indicators Index increased 0.2 of 1 percent to 107.5 in December – marking three straight months of similar gains. According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, five of the eight components experiencing positive changes for the month – which was down from November when seven measures in the index posted gains. The six-month annualized change in the index decreased slightly in December, but was positive (2.7%) for an eighth consecutive month. Employment growth continued in December for the 39th consecutive month, although the monthly growth remained relatively weak. Analysts said the index’s recent moves suggest that Iowa employment growth will continue into the spring. The two most positive contributors in December were diesel fuel consumption and the yield spread. Other positive contributors were the Iowa stock market, the new orders index, and average weekly manufacturing hours. The three negative contributors were building permits, unemployment insurance claims, and agricultural futures profits index.