The key gauge of the current state of the economy topped the boom-or-bust line of 50 percent in April for the second month in a row, the government said Tuesday in a preliminary report.

The coincident index rose to 77.8 percent, up from a revised 65 percent in March, when the index topped 50 percent for the first time in 15 months, the Cabinet Office said.

A reading of below 50 percent is considered a sign of economic contraction and a figure above is viewed as a sign of expansion.

The index of leading economic indicators, a measure of economic moves about six months ahead, came to 72.2 percent in April, topping 50 percent for the fourth straight month. The leading index was revised to 81.8 percent in March.

The lagging index, which gauges performance in the recent past, was 66.7 percent, compared with 33.3 percent the previous month.

The diffusion indexes of the coincident, leading and lagging indicators compare the current levels of various economic indicators with their levels three months earlier.

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