IU: State still poised for growth

March 18, 2010
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Still waiting for the state economy to improve? Don’t despair. The Indiana Business Research Center is standing by a forecast of sustained economic growth beginning this summer.

The reiteration comes as the center, which is part of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, announced today that its proprietary index for predicting future economic activity in the state weakened a smidgeon in February. A release and chart is available here.

The index slipped to 96.2 after standing at 96.3 in December and January. In other words, most laymen would conclude the index has flattened following a slow-but-sure climb for a number of months. (The benchmark of 100 was set in summer 1997.)

The Leading Index for Indiana, which is compiled from reports on such key areas of the economy as automotive and construction, predicts activity five to six months in the future.

The center’s director of economic analysis, Timothy Slaper, cautions against reading too much into the flattening. Sources in the index are subject to revision, Slaper says, and, fortunately, no warning signs have cropped up in a year. So there’s nothing serious on the horizon to worry about; the larger point is when growth will start and what that growth will look like.

Indeed, the index sources have been maddeningly contradictory. In February, manufacturing and retail sales expanded, but homebuilder confidence and consumer sentiment fell.

The center’s confidence in renewed growth this summer is fed partly by consumers’ need to replace worn goods. People can’t keep driving the same cars forever, Slaper points out.

When it comes, the growth will be anemic at first and then accelerate to a moderate pace by the end of the year, Slaper says. Job growth will come later.




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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now