NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' economic recovery continues to steadily improve, though not quite as quickly as it was moving three months ago.

The Times-Picayune reports a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution ranked the city sixth in its recovery rate among the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas -- down from a fourth-place ranking in July.

Despite the rosy outlook, New Orleans remains a difficult economy to track. When the Great Recession struck much of the country in 2008, southeast Louisiana felt relatively little effect mostly because it was three-years deep in federal aid and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The Washington think-tank based its quarterly findings on four indicators of each city's economic condition: jobs, unemployment rates, production and the regional housing market.