San Diego economic index slips with consumer confidence dip

City News Service

A drop in consumer confidence helped San Diego’s index of leading economic indicators decline 0.2 percent in June, according to figures released Tuesday.

Falling numbers of building permits and declining local stock prices,coupled with an uptick in initial claims for unemployment insurance, added to the decline, according to Professor Alan Gin, who compiles the index for the USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

“Although a downturn in the local economy is not imminent, the first drop in the USD index in more than two years is a cause for concern,’' Gin said. “Economists usually look for three consecutive changes in one direction in a leading index as a signal of a turning point in an economy, so it remains to be seen whether this is a beginning of a trend or simply a one-month aberration.’'

Local consumer confidence dropped because of high gasoline prices and a soft job market, Gin said.

He said that the number of approved residential building permits has fallen dramatically in the last couple of months after the sector started the year strongly. The number of issued permits was still 38 percent higher than 2010, he said.

While unemployment climbed, the amount of help-wanted advertising was also up.

The index stands at 117, up from 109.7 in June 2010.