Leading indicators fall as building permits drop

NEW YORK (AP) -- A private business group's measure of the economy's health dropped for the second consecutive month in August as building permits dropped and unemployment claims rose.

The New York-based Conference Board said Thursday its monthly forecast of future economic activity declined 0.5 percent in August. That is more than the 0.2 percent decline expected by Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR.

The index fell 0.7 percent in July.

Supplier deliveries, manufacturing hours worked and consumer manufacturers' new orders for capital goods all fell.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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