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BIEC: economic climate inches up in November


The Leading Indicator (WWK), which provides information on future trends in the economy, gained 0.3 points in November, the Bureau for Investments and Economic Cycles (BIEC) reported. It was its second (marginal) increase in a row. According to the Bureau, the improvement is too small to suggest an imminent reversal of the slowing trend in the economy, which has been observed in recent months. However, there is no threat of recession, only a weakening of the growth momentum, it noted.

Of the eight component indicators of the WWK, six improved in November while two deteriorated. The biggest positive contributor was a major improvement in managers’ assessments of the present state of the economy and the near-term outlook, which posted the highest increase in two years. Even so, the balance of expectations remained in negative territory. New manufacturing orders improved for the second straight month, but again only slightly, and not nearly sufficient to reverse several months of declines. The strengthening occurred mainly in export orders and concerns durable goods, notably furniture and textiles. The picture is gloomiest for electronic equipment and cars. The improvement in order books led to a slight decline in inventories of finished products. Managers’ assessments of the situation of their companies edged up compared with October. On the other hand, the value consumer loans declined and labour productivity deteriorated in November.

The WWK is a prognostic instrument. It is a measure of the current state of economic activity and provides advanced information on upturns and downturns in economic activity in relation to GDP as well as data on production, retail sales, wages and household incomes. The average prognostic timeframe of the WWK index in relation to the actual state of economic affairs ranges from 3 to 12 months, depending on the phase of the economic cycle.

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