San Diego economic index ticks up a notch

City News Service

The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose slightly in May for the seventh straight month, according to figures released Tuesday.

"The outlook continues to be positive for the local economy, and growth is expected at least through the end of 2011,'' USD business professor Alan Gin said.

The climb between April and May was led by a sharp increase in help-wanted advertising and the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

The local index was also helped by a decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance, increases in local stock prices and a jump in the number of residential building permits taken out in May for the fifth month in a row.

Those components of the index overcame a drop in local consumer confidence.

Gin acknowledged that the gains were fragile.

The 0.7 percent climb in the index in May was the third straight month in which the increase was smaller than the month before, and was the smallest figure since last December's 0.4 percent uptick.

Gin said the increase in home building permits was smaller than in the first four months of the year. Also, much of the growth in local stock prices in May was given back in the last couple of weeks.

"The USD Index has been signaling a rebound for the last two years, yet the local economy remains in difficult straits,'' Gin said.

The outlook is for continued slow growth, he said.



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