Utah's Index of Leading Economic Indicators, as compiled monthly by First Security Corp., fell 1.1 percent in September, almost identical to the amount the index gained in August - thus placing the Utah index at the July level.
"While this may be signaling the initial, local effects of a weak national economy, monthly declines in the Utah index - such as those which occurred in February and June - are not uncommon," said Dr. Kelly K. Matthews, First Security economist.Matthews noted that the September decline in Utah was larger than the 0.8 percent decrease recorded nationally for the same month, but it was the second consecutive monthly fall nationally, thus pushing the U.S. index 1.8 percent below July.
While the index was down from August, it was up 2 percent over September, 1989, said Matthews, but he indicated the figure is nothing to cheer about.
"While a 2 percent real inflation adjusted gain is not bad, it is somewhat below the 3.8 percent average of the past 12 months. The September index was 156.7 (based on 100 in 1978 when the index began) compared with 158.4 in August."
The index indicators include new car loans, the consumer loan delinquency rate, initial claims for unemployment, valuation of nonresidential construction permits, new dwelling unit permits, manufacturing workweek hours, job placement, new car sales and new Utah corporations.