The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index, sponsored by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, dropped 0.6 percent in October after a 0.5 percent decline in September and a 1 percent contraction in August.
Recovery has stalled since May 2010, the report finds. The index is 8.3 percent under peak levels, and significantly below normal trends.
The October results are particularly important as they can foreshadow the strength of the holiday retail market. UCLA summarized the decline as a symptom of worry on the part of consumers, and confidence remains shaky.
For industrial markets, the index anticipates a 0.16 percent decrease of industrial production in October, a greater decline than the predicted 0.11 percent drop.