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The United states economy.

TREND OF BUSINESS

The United States Economy

Growth in Real Gross National Product (GNP) POSTED A sharp and unexpected annual rate increase of 5.5 percent in the first quarter of 1989 following a 2.5 percent fourth quarter gain. The increase in the fourth quarter of 1988 was 2.4 percent. Real GNP growth is 2.1 percent above the growth rate for the first quarter of last year. Following a weak first quarter, the economy appears to be gathering strength in other areas. The Index of Leading Indicators rose 0.8 percent in April following declines of 0.3 percent in February and 0.6 percent in March, while factory orders climbed 2.7 percent--their best showing since December. Leading the uspwing in orders for goods from United States' factories is the rising demand for industrial products, suggesting that businesses are gathering confidence to continue expansion efforts. Of some concern, however, is inflation as measured by the Consumer Pride Index (CPI) which rose 5.2 percent during the year ending in April 1989. This was well above the 3.8 percent gain during the 12 months ending April 1988. The United States' unemployment rate continues to fall, putting it at 5.2 percent of the civilian labor force for the first quarter of 1989. This is down from the 5.6 percent reported for the same time period a year ago. Total civilian employment increased 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 1988. Sales of domestic cars fell to 6.9 million units in the first quarter of 1989 from 7.5 million units in the previous quarter. Domestic truck sales were also down in the first quarter.

South Dakota's Economy

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has risen two-tenths of one percent from the fourth quarter of 1988. The current unemployment rate of 4.0 percent is slightly above the 3.8 percent rate for the same quarter a year ago. Seasonally adjusted non-agricultural employment is 1.1 percent lower than last quarter, but remains 1.6 percent higher thatn the same time period last year. In the construction industry, employment levels continnue to fall. Construction employment is 7.4 percent lower than last quarter and less than 1 percent higher than the first quarter of 1988.

Personal income rose almost 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 1988, resulting in large part from the increase in real farm income (42.3%). Farm income is down 191.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 1987, while personal income is down 11.5 percent.

New truck registrations are holding steady, increasing less than 1 percent from last quarter. New truck sales continue to grow at a faster rate than new car sales. New car sales dropped dramatically from last quarter, being down almost 15 percent. Compared to the same quarter last year, new car sales are down approximately 24 percent and new truck sales are up 14 percent. Taxable sales remain robust, showing an 8.9 percent increase in the January-February bimonthly period compared to the same period in 1988.
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Publication:South Dakota Business Review
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Words:514
Previous Article:Personal income 1987-88.
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