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UTAH’S ECONOMIC INDICATOR DECLINED 1.9 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY

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Utah's Index of Leading Economic Indicators declined 1.9 percent in February, following a 0.6 percent increase in January and seven consecutive monthly gains extending back to July.

Nationally, the leading indicators index fell 1 percent in February, following a 0.1 percent gain in January."Despite the monthly setback, the index points to sustained growth in Utah's economy during the first half of 1990," said Kelly K. Matthews, chief economist for First Security Corp., the financial company that compiles the monthly report.

The Utah Index was 153.5 in February (from a base of 100 in 1978 when the report began) and a revised 156.4 in January.

Matthews said the Utah Index can be analyzed in another way by comparing the percentage changes in the current months with the same months in prior years. This, he said, indicates the "growth momentum" for the state.

In February, Utah's Index of Leading Economic Indicators was 3.9 percent above the same month last year and was the fifth consecutive month in which gains over the same month a year earlier have been near 4 percent.

The individual indicators used in Utah's Index include new car loans, the consumer loan delinquency rate, initial claims for unemployment and valuation of non-residential construction permits.