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 user 2013-06-23 at 4:44:03 am Views: 88
  • #2151

    Leading Economic Indicators Fall for Third Straight Month

    NEW YORK -A closely watched measure of future economic activity fell in August for a third consecutive month, reflecting an uncertain climate for both businesses and consumers.

    The Conference Board said Thursday its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell 0.3 percent in August to 115.7, following a decline of 0.3 percent in July.

    The August reading was the third month of decline in the index, after a year in which it gained steady ground. The drop last month was larger than the 0.2 percent decrease forecast by analysts.

    ''The leading indicators continue to soften,'' said Ken Goldstein, an economist for the New York-based Conference Board, a private research group. ''Consumers worry about their wages and salaries which could limit spending. Businesses worry about their ability to raise prices and to cover rising costs.''

    The index is closely followed because it is designed to forecast the economy's health over the coming three to six months.

    Also Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 14,000 to 350,000, mostly as a result of the hurricanes that hit Florida.

    That left claims at a higher than the 338,000 applications that some analysts were forecasting. But they remain lower than for the same week last year, when claims were at 387,000.

    * Post was edited: 2004-09-25 09:46:00