By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – An index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.9 percent in September.
The index, produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com, declined to 118; a reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s economic activity in 2000.
The leading indicators index uses nine published statistics to forecast the direction of the state’s economy over the next three to six months, with positive numbers signaling growth and negative numbers signaling contraction.
Seven of the nine indicators had negative contributions to the index in September: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, manufactured exports, regional consumer expectations, national stock prices, national orders index and the state employment barometer.
The two that contributed positively were building permits and the interest rate spread.
The six-month growth rate, “a signal of turning points,” was 0.8 percent in September, after holding a rate of 3.3 percent. The long-term annual growth rate is 1.9 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.