18 December 2008 16:50 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A US index of leading economic indicators fell by 0.4% in November, indicating that the nation's economy will not improve in the early part of next year, the Conference Board said on Thursday.
The board attributed the decline to a drop in building permits and stock prices.
Other worsening indicators include initial unemployment claims, average weekly manufacturing hours, the index of consumer expectations and the index of supplier deliveries, the board said.
While yield spreads improved and the money supply increased, those trends were not enough to offset the problems in the economy, the board said.
The only other indicators that improved were manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods and new orders for consumer goods and materials.
"An intense housing downturn that's about to begin its fourth year and a severe financial crisis with nearly frozen credit markets have sharply lowered consumer and business expectations," according to a statement by Ken Goldstein, economist for the Conference Board
November's drop follows a 0.9% decline in October. The index did not change in September.
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