It's in The Numbers: Business Is Slow

Leading indicators and other economic data say the economy is still sputtering

HIS ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN MAY HAVE BEEN SHOT down by the Senate, but Bill Clinton continues to stockpile figures to justify the $16.5 billion program. Lately, in fact, he's been carrying an uncomfortable surplus. The index of leading indicators plunged 1% in March, the largest drop in nearly three years; consumer spending fell 0.4% in the same month, the biggest decline in a year; factory orders were down 1.5%, another sign of a slowdown in manufacturing. Even the good economic news was tainted. A survey by the Federal Reserve concluded that the economy would grow 2.5% to 3% this year, about...

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