Index confirms state's slide

January 03, 1991|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff

The worsening economy in Maryland was confirmed in a third-quarter report by Grant Thornton, a national accounting and management-consulting firm with a local office.

The Grant Thornton Index, consisting of seven equally weighted economic indicators, declined 0.23 for Baltimore in the July-September period, hitting 109.1. For Washington, the index dropped 0.90 to 109.9. This is the third quarterly decline for Baltimore since the end of 1989, when the index was at 110.2.

The index includes factory hours, nonfarm employment, construction permits, retail sales, business starts, business failures and money supply. The base for the index is January 1985.

The index declined in 17 of the 24 metropolitan areas that are included in the survey. On the average for all those areas, the index dropped 0.39 to 109.

For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, the index dropped 1.13 in Baltimore and 0.98 in Washington. For all of the 24 metropolitan areas surveyed, the index edged up 0.06 during the 12 months.

The decline in the indexes for both Baltimore and Washington was primarily because of weakness in construction, according to Morton D. Goldman, managing partner of the Grant Thornton office in Baltimore.

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