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W.Va. business index sees fifth monthly decline

BECKLEY, W.Va. — For the fifth consecutive month, West Virginia experienced declines in key economic indicators, but the state’s top economists said June’s 0.1 percent decline is smaller compared with the three months prior.

The Mountain State Business Index shows the state’s economy remains dicey at the moment given the declines.

 John Deskins, director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, took a positive view of the small decline by looking at the bigger economic picture.

“We gain a guarded optimism with the June reading since the rate of decline this month was significantly diminished over the previous three months and since fewer indicators were negative for the month,” he said.

The aim of the MSBI is to provide an up-to-date gauge of the state’s expected business performance over the near term. June’s results point to increasingly weaker prospects for West Virginia’s economy during the late summer and early fall months, as the index is in the midst of its longest period of retrenchment in six years.

After only registering a handful of negative readings in three years, the MSBI has noticed sustained declines in the last three months. The decline over a six-month period stood at 1.9 percent and represents the largest percentage decline during a six-month period since September 2009…


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