San Diego Business Journal

Local Economic Index Increases 0.4% in August

Monday, September 30, 2013

An index measuring San Diego’s economy increased 0.4 percent in August, with three of six components rising.

Last month’s gain in the USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County means that the forecast remains for positive growth in the year ahead, said Alan Gin, the USD economics professor who compiles the data.

During the month, the data increased for consumer confidence, the outlook for the national economy, and local company stock prices. Those were mostly offset by declines: new claims for unemployment insurance were up for the fourth month in a row; decreased number of building permits; and reduced lines of help wanted advertising.

The overall net increase was the twelfth straight one and the 21st out of the last 22 months, the report said.

Gin noted the breadth of the advance “left something to be desired.”

Both of the labor variables were down for the first time in nearly three years, and job growth has slowed considerably. Following a weak jobs report in July, the report found the area had a net gain of jobs of 14,800, he said.

A major potential problem is the political turmoil surrounding the extension of the debt ceiling and shutting down of government offices. Failure to increase the government’s debt allowance could trigger a financial crisis that would threaten to derail a fragile recovery and would certainly impact the local economy, Gin said.

— Mike Allen