The index of leading economic indicators, a pointer to future US economic activity, declined sharply in November, the Commerce Department reported. A 1.3-percent drop followed one of 1.4 per cent in October, which originally been calculated at 0.9 percent, the department said. The index stands at 136.6 percent of its 1967 level, its lowest point since July 1977.
It has fallen in four of the past five months but still has not rung a traditional alarm bell of recession, which is three consecutive months of decline. There was a modest 0.2 percent increase in September.