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Nov Conf Board Indicators

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 7 months ago

Economic Indicator Drops

Most Since ’91





The Conference Board said today that its index of leading economic indicators fell for the second consecutive month, dropping 0.4 percent in November. That brought the drop for the last six months to 2.8 percent, the worst decline since 1991, when the economy was in recession.


The index is intended to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months based on 10 economic components, including stock prices, building permits and initial claims for unemployment benefits.


Drops in building permits and share prices, and increases in unemployment claims, led the index lower.

The Labor Department reported that new applications for jobless benefits, a lagging indicator, fell to a seasonally adjusted 554,000 last week, from an upwardly revised figure of 575,000 the previous week. Still, the four-week moving average, which smooths out fluctuations, increased to 543,750 claims, the highest since December 1982. The labor force has grown by about half since then.


Without increases to the money supply from federal bailouts, the leading indicators’ reading would have been far worse. The recession that officially began in December 2007 continues to ravage businesses in almost every sector.


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