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Regional Economic Index Inched Slowly Up in February

An index tracking San Diego’s economic health barely edged up in February as plunging local stock prices balanced out positive momentum in online job ads and unemployment claims.

The University of San Diego-created index modestly increased from 139.6 to 139.7, the university said Thursday. The index is 2.7 percent higher than it was last February.

Index author and USD professor Alan Gin also noted that revised employment statistics showed job growth in the professional, scientific and technical sector was much weaker than anticipated. Earlier figures showed those industries were on pace to add up to 8,000 jobs last year, which would have been the highest growth of any field. But the new figures showed that sector added just 2,400 jobs, behind health care (7,300 jobs), leisure and hospitality (7,00 jobs) and construction (5,700 jobs).

“The overall job number is good,” Gin said, referring to overall annual gains of about 40,000 jobs. “There’s a slight change in the narrative.”

The index’s full name is the USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County.

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