The index of leading indicators fell again in March, indicating no imminent upturn in the economy, the Conference Board reported Monday.
The index dropped 0.3 percent last month compared with 0.2 percent in both January and February. Intermittent signs of improvement were not enough to stop the index's fall, Ken Goldstein, the Conference Board's economist, said in a statement. "The recession may continue through the summer, but the intensity will ease."
The index typically predicts economic activity a few months ahead. It started dropping in August 2007, four months before the recession officially started. It has not risen in the past nine months. In the past six months, it has fallen at about a 4.7 percent annual rate, far higher than the 2.7 percent annual rate in the previous six months.
However, three of the indexes 10 indicators did register an upturn in March: the real money supply, the interest-rate spread, and consumer confidence.