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Indiana's economy continues steady, modest recovery, report finds




Indiana’s economy is on a steady but modest climb back to pre-recession levels, according to last month’s report from the Leading Index for Indiana, which monitors changes in the general direction of the Indiana economy. The LII monitors key industries that are important to Indiana in order to index the state’s economy to a numerical value.

The LII for May was pegged at 98.5, a .2-percent increase from April and a 3.9-percent increase from March 2009, in the middle of the recession when the LII scored its lowest value ever. May’s value is the highest value the LII has scored since the start of the recession and continues a steady trend of moderate increases that started in September 2011. The highest value the LII recorded was 103.9 in May 2006.

Analysts at the Indiana Business Research Center, the organization responsible for the LII, said in their monthly report that an increase in confidence in the housing market was responsible for most of May’s jump in the LII.

“It seems we have resumed the gradual upward trend in confidence that started at the beginning of this year,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in the report.

According to the report, though, the housing market still faces some issues, including a lack of builder and consumer access to credit and rising prices for home building materials.

Other things that caused the LII to jump were an increase in manufacturing activity and a small but steady climb in auto sales.

— Zach Ammerman

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