New York’s economy has continued its downward trajectory despite some signs of improvement, according to a report released last week by the New York State Association of Counties.

“Our state is suffering from severe economic decline,” said NYSAC president Sarah Purdy. “State and local leaders need to do everything we can to leverage funding from the federal stimulus plan to stem any further decline in our economy.”

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in the state rose to 8% in May and 10 counties had unemployment rates higher than the national rate of 9.1%, according to the June 2009 Economy Watch, which compiled data from multiple sources.

The index of coincident economic indicators — which the state Labor Department derives from private sector employment, unemployment, average weekly hours of manufacturing workers, and sales tax collections — has fallen for 13 of the past 14 months and is now at its lowest level since May 2005, the report said.

The median sales price for housing rose to $189,000 in May compared to April, a 1.9% increase, despite a 21% decline in monthly sales volume, the report said.

Consumer confidence in the state rose to 67.6% in May, a 5.5 point increase over April, but then dropped back to 64.3% in June, according to Siena Research Institute data. Confidence was higher in the New York City area than in upstate.

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