A drop in claims for unemployment insurance and a surging stock market contributed to improvement in the South Carolina Leading Index of economic indicators, the S.C. Department of Commerce reported Jan. 2.

In its monthly South Carolina Economic Outlook for December, the Commerce Department reported that the index climbed 0.12 points in November, ending with a value of 101.94. A value above 100 generally points to economic growth for the next three to six months.

The report noted that the unemployment insurance claims in November dropped by 9.6%, while the Dow Jones Composite Average rose 5.0%, and the number of housing units rose 10.3% as the units’ value moved up 1.5%.

Personal income in South Carolina rose 1.2% in third quarter, putting the Palmetto State first among 12 states in the Southeast region, the report said.

“Total seasonally adjusted personal income reached $197 billion. This boost follows an equal uptick of 1.2% in the second quarter,” the report said, noting that South Carolina’s personal income growth ranked 16th in the U.S. overall for the period.

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