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Nonmetallic Mineral Products Index Increases


The nonmetallic mineral products industry leading index increased to 251.5 in September from a revised 250.5 in August, its six-month smoothed growth rate increased to 1.2 percent in September from a revised 0.7 percent in August.

The six-month smoothed growth rate is a compound annual rate that measures the near-term trend. A growth rate above +1.0 percent is usually a signal of future growth in industry activity, while a growth rate below -1.0 percent points to a decrease in activity.

After declining from November 2015 through March 2016, the leading index growth rate was above the growth rate threshold (+1.0 percent) that normally suggests an increase in industry activity for April and May, declined below the +1.0 percent threshold in June, then moved above in July, below again in August, and above again in September.

In September, the largest positive contribution was new private housing units authorized by permits, and the largest negative contribution was S&P stock price index, building products companies.

The nonmetallic mineral products industry coincident index, which measures current industry activity, increased to 142.7 in September from a revised 141.7 in August, its six-month smoothed growth rate increased to -1.0 percent in September from a revised -2.1 percent in August.

The coincident index growth rate had declined steadily February through August. September represents a pause in that trend. The industrial production index [0.4] and total employee hours [0.2] made the two largest positive contributions to the coincident index.