USD releases economic indicator index

The University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose for the sixth consecutive month in September, led by a strong rise in local consumer confidence, it was announced Tuesday.

The index, which is used to gauge the health of San Diego’s economy, rose 1 percent last month, according to Alan Gin, who compiles the index for USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Building permits and the outlook for the national economy were also up sharply during the month.

However, there was a slight decrease in local stock prices and help- wanted advertising and a rise in the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, according to the index.

According to Gin, the outlook for job growth in San Diego remains weak for the rest of the year.

“Economic activity may already be picking up, but businesses tend to be cautious in terms of hiring new workers until they are sure that a recovery has taken hold,” Gin’s index states. “As a result, the local unemployment rate is expected to approach and may top the 11 percent mark before improving.”