Leading economic indicators for Wichita continue to show improvement

WSU's index of leading economic indicators in the fourth quarter rose 3.1 from the third quarter, indicating the Wichita area will continue to improve in the first half of the 2011.

Those indicators showing improvement are:

The consumer confidence increased 1.5 percentage points; average hours worked per week in manufacturing increased 3.4 percent; aerospace stock index increased 7.5 percent; wheat prices increased 14.2 percent; and the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators increased 2 percentage points.

Those indicators declining from the third quarter were: Kansas initial claims for unemployment increased 20.6 percent; the value of new residential construction permits decreased 18.9 percent; the value of new non-residential construction permits decreased 60.2 percent; and the value of new orders for aircraft and parts decreased 29.5 percent.