Industry News

Economy to crawl into ’07

Big gains stifled by unemployment, housing
Published on Dec 21, 2006

The economic outlook improved for the third straight month in November, but sluggishness in the employment and home construction sectors will put a drag on the future rate of growth, The Conference Board reported today. The U.S. leading index, a key barometer of future economic conditions, edged up 0.1 percent last month to 138.2, following a 0.1 percent increase in October and a 0.4 percent gain in September. Four of the 10 indicators that make up the leading index increased in November: money supply, vendor performance, manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods, and stock prices. A 10th straight monthly decline in building permits and a jump in the number of people filing for unemployment insurance in November made the largest negative contributions to the leading index, according to The Conference Board. The leading index has been fluctuating around a slightly downward short-term trend since January, and, despite three consecutive gains, it is still 0.6 percent below...

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