You’ve heard that old saw that if something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck? Might as well apply it to the U.S. economy.
Today’s Economic Trends Index from The Conference Board declined slightly from July. It now stands at 96.7. In July it was 97.4.
Obviously, that’s not good news, though a .7 drop in an index that is up 9.4 percent in a year might be ignorable if all it did was quack. But the Index is also walking like the duck it is. For the first time since March 2009 seven of the eight components that go into the index turned negative.
The Conference Board reported the weakening indicators were: Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”; Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now; Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons; Job Openings; Industrial Production; and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.