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BIEC: economic climate up slightly in October


The Leading Indicator (WWK), which provides information on future trends in the economy, gained 0.2 points in October, thus reversing its loss from September, the Bureau for Investments and Economic Cycles (BIEC) reported. The Indicator has been on a gentle downward trend since mid-2011 and there is nothing as yet to indicate that the economy is about to fall abruptly into recession, the Bureau commented.

Four components of the WWK improved in October and four deteriorated compared with the preceding month. New manufacturing orders slowed again, particularly from the domestic market, which together with consequent reductions in output led to a further decline in inventories of finished goods. Managers’ assessments of their companies’ financial performance and overall economic climate worsened.

On the other hand, labour productivity improved for the second month running, presumably reflecting successful cost-cutting efforts, though the scale of the improvement has so far been limited. Sentiment on the stock market also brightened.

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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