Utah's economy experienced strong gains in August, a phenomenon that bucked the national downward trends, according to a report released Monday by First Security Corp.

Kelly Matthews, First Security's chief economist, said the 1.1 percent increase in Utah's Index of Leading Economic Indicators during August was the second consecutive strong monthly gain and pushed the state's August index to a record high."In contrast, the national index dropped 1.2 percent in August. Locally, improvement in unemployment initial claims, the consumer loan delinquency rate and residential building permits more than offset adverse changes in new automobile loans and nonresidential construction permits."

The Utah August index, 158.3, was 3.2 percent higher than August 1989, according to the report.

Indicators factored in the Utah's Index of Lending Economic Indicators include new automobile loans, the consumer loan delinquency rate, initial claims for unemployment and valuation of nonresidential construction permits.

The index also considers new dwelling unit permits, manufacturing work week hours, non-agricultural job placements, new automobile sales and new Utah corporations.