By City News Service
The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell slightly in September, the first decline in a year-and-a-half, it was announced Thursday.
The 0.1 percent drop was led by a sharp reduction in residential building permits and a slight rise in initial claims for unemployment insurance, according to Alan Gin, who compiles the index for USD's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.
Local stock prices, consumer confidence, help-wanted advertising and the outlook for the national economy were positive during the month, but only modestly, according to Gin.
"While September's decline is a little worrisome, it is not a signal that a downturn in the local economy is imminent," his report states.
Economists usually look for three consecutive months of moves to signal a turning point in the economy. "It remains to be seen whether this is just a temporary bump in an upward trend or the beginning of the dreaded 'double dip' recession," Gin wrote.