Bush Boom Indicators Disappoint

From Holden:

Looks like the economy is ripe for a summer nosedive.

A barometer of America’s economic activity slipped in April, while the number of people signing up for jobless benefits rose sharply last week, according to reports released Thursday.

The big jump in filings for jobless benefits was mainly due to the lingering effects of a partial government shutdown in Puerto Rico. But the dip in the Conference Board’s Index of Leading Indicators more clearly pointed to slowing economic activity ahead.

The board’s index fell to 138.9 in April, from a reading of 139 in March. The index is closely watched because it predicts economic activity three to six months in the future.

The report disappointed economists, who were forecasting a small rise in the index.