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State’s Leading Index drops in October, still points to growth

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South Carolina’s Leading Index of economic indicators slipped in October by less than a half of a percentage point but ended with a value of 101.85, pointing to continued growth for the next three to six months.

S.C.'s Leading Index of economic indicators. Click to enlargeAn analysis of statistics by the S.C. Department of Commerce found that economic indicators were flat or negative for the month. Increases were recorded in the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, which was up 30.2% from September. Other negative numbers impacting the index included a 0.4% decline in the Dow Jones Composite Average, a 19.4% drop in the number of housing units started and a 18.4% slide in the value of units in October.

“Despite this, the Conference Board’s national Leading Economic Index increased 0.1%, forecasting economic expansion as 2017 approaches,” according to the report by research analyst Brandon Wilkerson.

The report, released Wednesday, noted that the median sales price homes dropped in five of the state’s metro areas and remained unchanged in the Greenville market.

Foreclosure activity in October was up statewide by still 5.3% below the level of October 2015, the report said.

One positive sign for the housing sector was a 1,700 increase in the number of construction jobs in the state, “a signal that the market could quickly rebound from October’s results,” the report said.

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