AP analysis: Economic stress drops to 3-month low

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Associated Press monthly analysis finds that lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year.

More than 85 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties and every state but two -- Louisiana and South Dakota -- fared better than in February.

Manufacturing activity has helped ease hardship in the Great Lake states and Indiana over the past 12 months -- more than in any other region.

Louisiana, Iowa and the Mountain states of Idaho and Montana have suffered the sharpest increases in stress, year over year. Post-Hurricane Katrina projects are winding down in Louisiana. The Mountain states have felt the effects of government job cuts more severely than elsewhere because of their small populations. And Iowa has suffered from more foreclosures.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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