NEW YORK (AP) _ A key gauge of future economic activity rose in April, signaling that the economy's growth will progress into next year.

The Conference Board, a private business research group, reported today that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators for April stood at 105.3, up from 105.2 in March. The gain, which was in line with economists' projections, marked the fourth consecutive monthly advance in the leading index.

Combined with the performance of two sister indicators, the index shows that the economy will continue its advance, the Conference Board said.

``The leading indicators show almost no risk of recession,'' the board said in its report.

Six of the leading index's 10 components rose in April, led by stock prices and the money supply.

Other gainers included manufacturers' orders for consumer goods and consumer expectations. The average work week was the leading decliner.

``While four of the 10 leading indicators actually fell, none have emerged as dark clouds on the economy's horizon,'' said Conference Board economist Michael Boldin.