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U.S. Leading Economic Index Increases
Conference Board News Release (06/21/12)
In May, the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. edged up 0.3% to 95.8, compared with a 0.1% decrease in April, with economist Ataman Ozyildirim noting that the gain was modest due to weakness in the average work week in manufacturing, stock prices, and consumer expectations. Meanwhile, the Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. rose 0.2% to 104.3, following a similar gain in April, and the Conference Board Lagging Economic Index for the U.S. climbed 0.3%, versus a 0.6% decline the month prior. “Economic data in general reflect a U.S. economy that is growing modestly, neither losing nor gaining momentum,” says Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board. “The result is more of a muddle through.”
Employees: Staffing Firm Shut Down, Said No One Would Be Paid
CBS 2 Chicago (06/22/12)
Chicago-based Prime Staffing abruptly shut down Thursday. The company sent employees a notice about the closure, adding that employees would not be paid. The notice stated: “I regret to inform you that effective immediately, Prime Staffing is out of business. Our bank has decided to immediately close our line of credit that we relied on to fund the operations of this company….Outstanding checks will not be honored and all funds in our account are being applied to pay down the line of credit. We have no leverage to prevent this.” Protesters from Occupy Chicago will be at the Prime Staffing office Friday in support of the employees who now say they are owed money.
Weak U.S. Job Market Weighing on Broader Economy
Associated Press (06/21/12) Christopher S. Rugaber
On June 21, the U.S. Department of Labor said applications for unemployment benefits slipped to 387,000 last week from 389,000 the week prior, but the four-week average increased to a six-month high of 386,250. The number of jobs added in April and May averaged 73,000 per month, down from an average of 226,000 during the first quarter. Additionally, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s index of regional manufacturing activity dropped to a nearly one-year low of -5.8 from -16.6, though the measure of future expectations climbed from 15 in May to 19.5 in June.
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