North Carolina economic indicators for the rest of the year are at their lowest point in 2011, further evidence that the state's economy is slowing down.
The index of leading economic indicators, issued today by N.C. State University economist Michael Walden, shows that four of five measures declined. That means that the economic forecast for the next four to six months dropped by 0.8 percent in July.
But despite the gloomy numbers, the Walden Index numbers were still up 1.5 percent over July a year ago. As a result, Walden has not crossed over to the camp that is predicting a double-dip recession.
"I'm still in the camp that thinks we'll avoid an 'official' recession by keeping GDP [gross domestic product] growth just above negative rates - that is, low, but still positive," he said. "Still, to the average person, it feels like a recession."
The Walden Index measures initial claims for unemployment benefits, building permits, average weekly hours of manufacturing work, average weekly earnings in manufacturing, and the Economic Cycle Research Institute's Weekly Leading Index.
In housing, July sales were down 9 percent and price was off 3 percent in the Piedmont market, which includes the Triangle.