Tue, Dec 28, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Economic index falls from last month

STAFF WRITER

The nation's composite index of leading economic indicators fell 1.5 percent to 105.2 points last month from 106.8 points in October, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said yesterday.

The index's slight decline reflects that few changes are expected in the local economic climate in the short term, according to the council.

The leading indicators are a key gauge of economic activity in the next six months.

Out of the seven components making up the index, only housing start applications were up from the previous month.

The six components that declined in November were exports, new manufacturing orders, M1B money supply, stock prices, average monthly manufacturing working hours and wholesale prices, the council said in a statement.

The total score of monitoring indicators held steady at 29 points last month from October, which represents a second consecutive month at the "green light" ranking, indicating steady growth of the economy, according to the council.

The council uses a five-level spectrum to gauge domestic economic health.

Looking ahead, Hu Chung-ying (胡仲英), director of the council's economic research department, said uncertainties about the nation's economy remain because of concerns over interest rates, crude oil prices, raw materials prices and cross-strait relations.

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