Peoples Bank said it has introduced a real-time economic index for the state of Connecticut that calculates and measures the state's economic activity.

The index was developed by DataCorp Partners Inc., a consulting company owned by economist Donald Klepper-Smith.

The index assesses real disposable income by measuring available consumer buying power and nonmanufacturing employment, which plays an important role in Connecticut, where exports represent a large share of total output.

"One of my biggest frustrations as an economist has been to answer the question 'How is the Connecticut economy doing?'" said Todd Martin, the bank's vice president and chief economist. "Now I have real-time answers."

Mr. Martin said the first reading of the economic barometer shows that the state has been steadily improving since early 1993.

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