From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

GRU index rebounds

Leading indicators point to better things for the Augusta economy.


Every month, economists at Georgia Regents University crunch job, housing and stock numbers to develop their Leading Economic Indicators index. In March, the index went up 0.4 percent from February, reversing two months of declines.


“It was good news considering January and February hadn’t been good. Some of it was weather-related issues that hit us locally,” said Simon Medcalfe, who oversees the index for GRU. “Also, the national economy had sputtered a little.”


The index has increased 2.4 percent from March 2013.


Medcalfe said four components of the index improved in March: housing permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance, job openings and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


“The fact that all four of them were moving in the right direction was encouraging, coming off the slow start to the year,” he said.


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