EVANSVILLE —A tool meant to predict the strength of Indiana's economy shows that the state will likely struggle in the coming months, Indiana University researchers said Thursday. The Leading Index for Indiana — developed and tracked by IU's Indiana Business Research Center — stumbled in July. The index, which is meant to predict changes in the state's economy five to six months ahead, eked out a small gain in June but has had an overall downward trajectory since the beginning of the year. The Leading Index for Indiana uses national data in sectors important to the Indiana economy to predict future activity. The index is made up of five indicators: The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which is based on a national survey of supply and purchasing managers and measures month-to-month changes in business sentiment. Unfilled orders for motor vehicles and parts, which is data published monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau. Dow Jones Transportation Index, which tracks 20 transportation and logistics companies. Housing Market Index, which is published monthly and surveys homebuilders to determine confidenc ein teh real estate and construction industries. Interest rate spread, which measures the extent to which investors anticipate a recession. The Leading Index for Indiana's drop in July is "further evidence that the economy is expected to struggle in the coming months," said Timothy Slaper, director of economic analysis at the research center. Other economic indicators also dipped in July. The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index, a real-time measure of the flow of goods to the nation's factories, retailers and consumers, fell 0.2 percent in July, offsetting some of its 1 percent increase in May. In addition, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by more than 10 percent in July amid the tumult over the federal debt ceiling debate. "The automotive sector does not have much gas in the tank either," Slaper said in a statement. "Early returns for August floor traffic are off slightly from July and manufacturer incentives are up — a sign of sputtering demand." Not only are the coming months expected to show weak economic growth, the recovery of the last couple years was not as strong as originally thought, Slaper said. The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently revised the past four years' national gross domestic product figures. The revision was not favorable, he said. "The data now show the economy diving deeper at the nadir of the recession than previously reported," Slaper said. "The data also shows that the economy did not recover as quickly. According to the revised figures, U.S. GDP has yet to regain its post-recession peak of four years ago. This meager economic growth helps explain why the employment rebound has been so fragile."