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Index foretells decline for Southland economy

September 01, 2007|Lisa Girion | Times Staff Writer

Southern California's economy was forecast to cool over the next three to six months, an index released Friday said.

The Southern California leading economic indicators index declined 0.12% in the second quarter after a 0.03% drop in the first quarter.

Cal State Fullerton economist Adrian Fleissig, who compiled the index, said he did not see the economy tilting into recession.

"But it definitely signals a slowdown in the Southland," he said. "This is the fourth time in five quarters that the indicator has fallen."

The index is a regional version of the Conference Board's national index of leading economic indicators. That index increased in July after declining in June.

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

Of the seven leading indicators, three had a negative influence on the index: increases in unemployment and the cost of borrowing, and a decline in consumer confidence.

Good news in four other areas, including a rise in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, were not enough to push the overall index into positive territory.

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lisa.girion@latimes.com

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