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Slow Growth Seen in Southland

June 02, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

Southern California's economy will continue to grow modestly in the next six to nine months and more slowly than the overall U.S. economy, according to a projection released Tuesday.

Cal State Fullerton said its Southern California index of leading economic indicators increased 0.52% in the first quarter, after a 0.43% gain in the fourth quarter of 2003. The latest rise lags behind increases in leading indicators for the nation, as growth here "continues to fail to match that of the U.S.," said economist Adrian R. Fleissig, the index's creator.

Five of the index's seven components -- building permits, Pacific region consumer confidence, Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, U.S. real money supply and Southern California nonfarm employment -- had a positive effect on the index. The U.S. interest rate spread and regional nonfarm unemployment had negative effects.

The index projects economic activity for Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial counties.

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