The NCSU Index of North Carolina Leading Economic Indicators (the“Index”), a forecast of the economy’s direction four to six months ahead, edged modestly higher in November.

The “Index” edged modestly higher in November, suggesting the more rapid pace of economic growth experienced by the state during the second half of 2014 will continue in early 2015.

Three of the Index’s components – initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, and manufacturing earnings, improved, while the national leading index and building permits declined. Since late spring, the Index has been essentially constant, suggesting the pace of economic growth experienced in the state since mid-year will continue into early 2015.

Of interest in 2015 is whether the improvements in job growth will begin to translate into stronger wage and salary gains.

Chg. from prev. month; Chg. from prev. year:

  • INDEX +0.2% -2.6%
  • ECRI-WLI -0.4% +0.7%
  • Claims -12.4% -22.1%
  • Permits -16.1% +3.2%
  • Hours +0.7% +3.4%
  • Earnings +1.9% +3.2%

The Index is composed of five components:

  • The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI)’s Weekly Leading Index (
  • North Carolina initial claims for unemployment benefits
  • North Carolina building permits
  • Average weekly hours of work of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing
  • 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.

(Note: All calculations are done by Dr. Michael Walden.)

Comments should be directed to Dr. Michael Walden at