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LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATOR STILL PROJECTING STAGNANT ECONOMY

 LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATOR STILL PROJECTING STAGNANT ECONOMY
 DETROIT, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released by Manufacturers National Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MNTL):
 In January, the Advance Economic Barometer (AEB) suffered a slight decline to a level of 0.3, compared with a 0.5 reading for December. For the past five months, the AEB has remained between 0 and 0.5, consistent with real economic growth of 1 to 2 percent for the first half of 1992.
 The failure of the AEB to significantly rebound over the past 12 months has accurately projected the very weak economic recovery. In prior recovery periods, the AEB has typically jumped to levels of 4.0 in the early stages following recession, consistent with real GDP growth of 5 percent or better within the first year of a recovery. The failure of the AEB to significantly rebound, in part, is due to continued weak inflation-adjusted money growth. In January, real M3 money supply growth was a negative 2.4 percent, the weakest component of the AEB. While M3 money growth remains very sluggish, it is expected to significantly escalate by mid-year due to monetary stimulation induced by the Federal Reserve Board. Consequently, improvements for the AEB by mid-year could signal a sharper escalation for the economy by the fourth quarter, with real growth topping the 4-percent mark.
 The AEB combines three series into a single, balanced and comprehensive leading indicator: (1) inflation-adjusted money growth. (2) yield-curve spread and (3) Commerce Department's Index of Leading Indicators.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: David G. Sowerby of Manufacturers National Corporation, 313-222-4829/
 (MNTL) CO: Manufacturers National Corporation ST: Michigan IN: FIN SU: ECO


ML -- DE054 -- 2476 02/25/92 15:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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