Measure of future US activity fell in August

Associated Press Published: September 20, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. economic activity declined in August for the second time in three months, suggesting the economy remains weak.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators, designed to forecast future economic activity, dipped 0.1 percent in August after rising 0.5 percent in July and dropping 0.5 percent in June.

The weakness in August came from declines in manufacturing orders, consumer confidence and average weekly manufacturing hours. Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says the index depicts an economy still facing significant domestic and international weakness.

Hiring has languished this year, and the unemployment rate remains elevated at 8.1 percent. U.S. manufacturing, which had helped pulled the economy out of the Great Recession three years ago, has weakened. Factories have been hurt by a decline in consumer spending and slower global growth that has cut demand for exports.

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