Thursday, January 25, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 25, 2001

State's leading indicator declines

By Glenn Scott
Advertiser Staff Writer

i’s monthly economic scorecard, based on indicators from last October, has shown another decline, state researchers said yesterday, suggesting that economic growth should continue to cool through the next several months.

However, the rate of decline in the state’s measurement, called the Leading Economic Indicator, was smaller than in previous months, said Seiji Naya, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Six of the 10 components that make up the scorecard declined in October, the last month for which the index can be calculated. As usual, the state index reflected the national leading index, which measures overall U.S. economic performance and showed the Mainland’s economic slowdown.

The index also recorded a weakening of foreign currencies — mostly the Japanese yen — against the dollar, which reduces foreign tourists’ buying power.

Three of the four positive indicators reflected improving trends on the Islands, with gains in average work hours, Oahu residential real estate prices and construction permit values. The other upward push came from Japanese labor earnings.

The state’s indicator, meant to help predict economic activity here five to 10 months in advance, has been dropping for the last five months, signaling a decreasing pace of growth after an upward surge during the previous 12 months.

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