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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The IEES Southern California Leading Indicator has experienced a decline for the first time in more than five years, according to a recent report by California State University, Fullerton. The indicator has dropped 0.02%, from a value of 116.64 in the second quarter of 2001 to 116.62 in the third quarter.

The index, which consists of both national and regional data, measures variables in the money supply, interest rates, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, nonfarm unemployment, the unemployment rate, building permits and Pacific region consumer confidence. Four out of these seven components have declined in the third quarter, according to the Fullerton report. The large falls in buildings permits and the S&P 500 partially have been offset by the increase in the money supply, the report adds.

This decline has led the Fullerton analysts to predict a decrease in total civilian employment growth and an economic slowdown in the Southern California region in the next three to six months.

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