BUSINESS ACTIVITY in the United States slumped in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks while the jobless total rose again, highlighting weakness in the American economy.
The number of manufacturing companies reporting that business conditions had worsened outnumbered the optimists by 27 per cent compared with 7 per cent in September.
The fall in the index, which is produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, was the 11th straight month of contraction. Almost six out of 10 companies told the Fed they did not expect to see any recovery until at least spring next year.
Michael Trebing, an economist at the bank, said about half …