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Consumer Confidence, Jobless Claims Drag USD Index Lower

San Diego’s economy continued a downward spiral in August, according to an economic index released Sept. 30 that registered its 10th consecutive drop.

The University of San Diego Index of Leading Economic Indicators, which measures six separate components, fell by six-tenths of a percent in August, the smallest decline since May 2007. The index has dropped in 28 of the last 29 months.

Alan Gin, the USD economics professor who compiles the index, said the latest drop was driven mainly by decreased consumer confidence and an increase in the number of unemployment insurance claims.

Two components were up , building permits and local stock prices , but not enough to offset the losses in four other parts of the index.

The outlook for the future is negative, with weakness expected through the first half of 2009 and likely beyond, Gin said.

The credit crisis was already having an impact in August, and the employment picture remains bleak with the national economy shedding jobs in each of the first eight months, and the nation’s unemployment rate topping 6 percent.

Locally it was 6.4 percent, compared to August of 2007 when it was 4.8 percent.

, Mike Allen

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