US economic indicators continue decline

December 19th, 2008 - 9:28 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 19 (DPA) A key gauge of US economic performance dropped in November as unemployment rose, stocks fell and the housing downturn continued to gather steam amid an economic recession.The private Conference Board Thursday said its index of leading economic indicators fell 0.4 percent on the month, as was expected by economists. It fell less than the revised 0.9-percent drop recorded in October.

The index, which looks at the economy’s performance in the coming three to six months, has fallen 2.8 percent over the last six months amid “widespread” weakness across the economy, the Conference Board said.

Six of the 10 indicators that make up the index declined in November, led by further drops in home construction. The housing market downturn, which began in late 2005, has been the key driver of the US economic crisis.

The economy lost 533,000 jobs in November as a year-long recession and financial crisis deepened, the highest monthly loss since 1974.

A bright spot was manufacturing orders. The real money supply also increased dramatically as the US Federal Reserve has injected billions of dollars into struggling financial firms.

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