Pessimism Up In Business World

The NewYork-based Conference Board says its monthly measurement of future economic activity showed its largest decline in a year. The private organization pointed to lower building permits, a faltering stock market, high unemployment claims, a tight money supply, and falling orders for consumer goods. Mark Vitner of Wachovia Corporation called the situation "economic purgatory" ... "stuck somewhere between sluggish growth and recession."

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with some pessimistic forecasts.

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The New York-based Conference Board says its monthly measurement of future economic activity showed its largest decline in a year. The private organization pointed to lower building permits, a faltering stock market, high unemployment claims, a tight money supply, and falling orders for consumer goods. But other than that we're doing fine. Mark Vitner of Wachovia Corporation called the situation economic purgatory, stuck somewhere between sluggish growth and a recession.

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