By Simon Medcalfe, assistant professor in the Hull College of Business, contributing writer
It has all kicked off in Europe: Greece survived a EURO scare; The Germans have been handing out lessons in discipline and efficiency; Ireland continues to struggle to be competitive; and Spain has looked attractive!
For those of you not following the EURO 2012 football tournament it has eerily reflected the current EURO currency crisis (well… except for Spain).
Closer to home, the Augusta LEI declined 0.1% in April on a three month moving average basis. The single month decline was almost 4%. All components saw declines from the previous month (except the Dow Jones which was up by just over a point).
The employment level continued to decline to just 205,500. The continued weakness in the labor market is almost as concerning as England’s defence! This is reflected in the declining labor force:
Also, although employers have generally increased the number of job openings, hiring has not increased at the same rate. As mentioned in last month’s commentary this may represent a mismatch of skills between what employers want and those offered by job seekers.
For more discussion of the local economy, tune into the Buzz on Biz with John Patrick and Bill Botham (1630 WRDW) at 12:15 p.m. Monday, June 25.
About the Index
The Augusta Leading Economic Index (Augusta LEI) is a monthly composite index that combines several national, regional, and local indicators into a single variable. Leading indexes combine variables that change before business cycle variables such as employment changes. Leading indexes may, therefore, indicate changes that could occur in the economy. Leading indexes are not forecasts or predictions about the future, but may signify future economic activity.
The Augusta LEI may,therefore, provide local decision makers with timely information about future business cycle patterns in the Augusta area. The Augusta LEI uses economic indicators for the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes six counties (i.e., Burke, Columbia, McDuffie, and Richmond counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina).
The index also includes regional and national indicators to reflect that national trends affect the local economy. The index is constructed in the same way that the Conference Board constructs the Leading Economic Index for the United States.