San Diego’s economy showed solid growth for November and December, and looks to expand even more in the second half of this year, according to a regional economic index released Feb. 15.
“The overall economy did better last year compared to 2003,” said Alan Gin, the University of San Diego economics professor who compiles the Index of Leading Economic Indicators. The index has six components: new building permits; unemployment insurance claims filed (a reverse number); the local consumer confidence; the amount of help wanted advertising; the stock prices of public companies based in San Diego; and the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
As of December 2004, the San Diego index was 143.3, up from 136.3 for December 2003.
Gin is forecasting net new job growth this year between 15,000 to 20,000, and should exceed the 16,400 new jobs added last year. Unfortunately, most of these jobs are lower paying.
While higher interest rates, price spikes for oil and gasoline, and continued budget cuts occurring at the state and city level could impede the regional economy, it won’t be enough to cause it to decrease, Gin said.