Mon, May 20, 2024

Simon Says: Improvements in the LEI

The Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased by 0.8% on a monthly basis and 0.2% on a three-month moving average in November. Overall, the LEI is 0.1% higher than a year ago, the first annual increase since October 2022. Four out of the five components in the index improved in November from October. Residential Building permits increased by 9.6% and initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 6.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a strong end to the year, including an 8.4% gain in November. Inflation fell a little in November to 3.4% in the South, resulting in an improvement in real deposits in local banks.

The one component that deteriorated was job openings. Job openings fell 10.8 percent in Georgia and 1.8% in South Carolina. Job openings in Georgia are below 300,000 for the first time since November 2020, but this still represents 1.6 jobs for every unemployed worker.

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