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IU: Indiana economy turned in March

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The Indiana economy showed signs of new life in March, but the recovery has been slow and dogged.



That’s the picture painted by a new monthly index unveiled Wednesday by the Indiana Business Research Center within the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.



The Leading Index for Indiana suggests the state might be in for a “U”-shaped recovery rather than the “V” shape optimists hoped for, said Timothy Slaper, the economist who created the index.



“The lack of a sharp ‘V’ is probably indicative that we have something like a ‘U’-shaped recovery,” Slaper said. “The recovery is going to be slower than it has been in the past.”



The Leading Index for Indiana is designed much like the well-known Leading Economic Index churned out by The Conference Board, the management and marketplace research organization.



Like the Conference Board version, IU’s index can be used to predict economic activity four to seven months in the future. Had IU’s index been available two years ago, it might have given businesses and policymakers early warning of the recession that socked the nation, Slaper said.



The Indiana index began a steep slide in May 2007, months before the official December 2007 start of the national recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research, the economic research organization that declares when recessions begin and end, hasn’t issued a statement about the end of the current national recession, but many experts believe a recovery has begun.



The IU index does not use data specific to Indiana. Typically, state specific economic data are released after national data and the types of state data are not as detailed as those available at the national level.



Therefore, IU built its index around national figures that correlate closely to key Indiana economic sectors. Tests of the index show it would have been accurate in predicting the past two recessions, Slaper said.



The Leading Index for Indiana is composed of auto manufacturing; stocks of transportation companies, and the interest rate spread between 10-year Treasury notes and the Federal funds rate (the rate commonly used by the Fed to stimulate or cool the economy). The index also relies on a survey of purchasing managers in manufacturing companies and a survey of home-builder sentiment.


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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