Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Economic Indicators on the Rise; the Index Forecast Is Looking Up Both Locally and Nationally as Markets Improve

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Economic Indicators on the Rise; the Index Forecast Is Looking Up Both Locally and Nationally as Markets Improve

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BASCH

While most of the talk recently has been about more doom and gloom, economic indicators were pointing up in July, both locally and nationally.

The University of North Florida's Local Economic Indicators Project said Thursday that its index of leading indicators for the Jacksonville area rose by 0.65 points in July to 103.85. This followed a report by the Conference Board that the U.S. Leading Economic Index rose by 0.1 percent last month.

The indexes are designed to project the economy several months ahead.

UNF economist Paul Mason said the Jacksonville-area index was lifted in July mainly by improvements in the financial markets, but it was also helped by a decline in new claims for unemployment insurance, which is "welcome news" for the job market.

The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation will report on Jacksonville's unemployment rate for July on Friday morning.

While the Jacksonville index rose in July, it has declined for three of the last five months. A drop in consumer confidence seems to be holding back the economy, Mason said. …

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