Editor’s note: Dr. Michael Walden is an economist at N.C. State University.
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NCSU Index of North Carolina Leading Economic Indicators, a forecast of the economy’s direction four to six months ahead, declined slightly in April, the third consecutive drop this year.
Contributing to the retreat was a reduction in the national index and a pullback in building permits.
However, on the “plus” side, initial jobless claims, manufacturing hours, and manufacturing earnings each improved.
The Index was also improved from a year ago.
Also noteworthy is that the Index in May declined less than the national leading index.
The outlook appears to be for a growing – albeit at a slower pace – North Carolina economy.
The index by component, change from previous month and change from previous year:
- NCSU Index: -0.3 percent from March; +0.3 percent from March 2011
- ECRI-WLI: -0.7 percent from March; -4.3 percent from March 2011
- Claims: -7 percent from March; -13.1 percent from March 2011
- Permits: -10.1 percent from March; +13.3 percent from March 2011
- Hours: +0.2 percent from March; +1 percent from March 2011
- Earnings: +0.2 percent from March; +2.3 percent from March 2011
The Index is composed of five components: the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI)’s Weekly Leading Index (http://www.businesscycle.com/resources/), North Carolina initial claims for unemployment benefits, North Carolina building permits, average weekly hours of work of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing, and average weekly earnings of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing.
All data are seasonally-adjusted and modified for differences in prices levels where appropriate.
Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and ECRI, whose permission to use their Weekly Leading Index is greatly appreciated. All calculations are done by Dr. Michael Walden.
(c) Dr. Michael Walden, NCSU