17 April 2008 19:42 [Source: ICIS news]
New York City-based Conference Board, the 92-year-old non-profit business analysis group, said its composite index of ten leading economic indicators reached 102 in March, up 0.1% when compared with February.
Although razor thin, it is the first increase in the leading indicators index since September last year when the measure also inched up by 0.1%.
Index declines over the last five months have ranged from 0.3% to 0.5%.
The board said that five of the ten economic measures that make up the composite index improved in March, including the money supply, average weekly manufacturing hours and producers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials.
The negative contributors included increased unemployment claims and declines in building permits, stock prices and consumer confidence.
The slight March increase does not signal an economic turnaround, the board said.
“The current behaviour of the composite indexes suggests that economic weakness is likely to continue in the near term,” the board said.
The Conference Board data came on the same day that a key manufacturing index suggested that
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|