Drop In Economic Forecast Could Be Weather-Related

Economists say the drop in the economic index could be because sales have dropped during the harsh winter weather.

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Photo: Stephen O'Grady (Flickr)

Economic analyst Tim Slaper says fewer people were probably out during the winter looking at model homes, which has some home builders worried that they might not be building as many homes this spring.

An index that aims to predict the state’s future economic climate saw a significant dropped this past month.

The Indiana Business Research Center’s Leading Index showed declines in all of its components—including small business optimism and confidence in the housing market.

But IBRC economic analyst Tim Slaper says this month’s numbers could have been a one-off thing caused by the cold weather.

“People weren’t going out to model homes in the chill and the snow,” he says. “I mean how many people want to look for a car when it’s got six inches of snow on it out in the lot and it’s 12 degrees.

Still, some good news from the index is that despite low sales, businesses still plan to hire more workers.

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