Utah's economy rebounded in January, despite the Middle East war, showing a 3.2 percent gain over two months of decline, according to First Security Corp.

First Security chief economist Kelly K. Matthews reported Utah's leading economic indicators remained well ahead of an average .4 percent decline nationally."Despite the then-occurring Persian Gulf military tensions and the national recession, the local economy remains healthy," Matthews said.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Matthews said every component of the state's economy contributed to the growth. Particularly strong gains were noticed in non-residential construction value, dwelling unit permits and the number of new corporations, he said.

The January gain pushed the index above last year's levels, he said.

With the index in 1978 equal to 100, January's level was reported at 158.4, .09 percent above January 1990.

The state's leading economic indicators include new automobile loans, the consumer loan delinquency rate, unemployment claims and valuation of non-residential construction permits.

Matthews said the figures bode well for the state continuing to skirt the national recession.