“We continue to be in a jobless, profitless recovery” – this was the cheery diagnosis of US conditions given by Ken Goldstein, chief economist of New York research group the Conference Board, after it found no change in its leading index.

The barometer, which gauges economic prospects for the next three to six months, held steady at 112.4 in June after rising 0.6% in May. Underlining the sluggishness of America’s recovery, only five of the ten economic indicators in the index improved, with four declining.

Over the first six months of 2002, the index rose 0.9% in total, with six of the ten categories rising.

“Only consumption growth has been a consistent growth force during the first half of the year,” continued Goldstein. “As if there were not enough to slow down economic growth, the financial markets continue to be pounded by a relentless barrage of news about questionable corporate practices.”

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff