San Diego Business Journal

Local Economy Improves Slightly, USD Index Shows

By Mike Allen Monday, October 31, 2011

San Diego’s economy showed a little improvement in September, according to a local index released Oct. 28.

The USD-Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which tracks six measures, rose a tenth of 1 percent last month after an August dip of 1 percent.

Moderate gains in September in consumer confidence, help wanted advertising, and the outlook for the national economy outweighed losses from the three other components: fewer building permits, increased claims for unemployment, and declines in local stock prices.

Alan Gin, the USD economics professor who compiles the index, said the erratic movements in the last five months are symptomatic of the uncertainty in the economy, although the most recent news has been positive.

The region will show a net gain of employment this year for the first time in three years, and the unemployment rate fell below 10 percent last month after rising in the summer, Gin noted.

The good news is countered by negative developments such as continued weakness in the housing market, international concerns, and fiscal problems at all levels of government, he said.

“Perhaps the biggest concern is the sharp drop in the perception that people have about the direction of the country as the weak economy takes its toll,” Gin said.