Washington — The government's index of leading indicators -- a barometer for the economy -- fell 2.4 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Monday. It also announced revised figures for April -- a 4.1 percent decline instead of 4.8 percent. But even with this revision, the April figure was the biggest monthly drop in the 32-year history of the index.
Eight of 10 indicators measured in the index fell in May. The average workweek continued to decline. Layoffs continued in manufacturing plants, and factory orders were down. Other falling indicators included changes in liquid assets and certain raw materials prices. Only stock prices and building permits were up.