An index measuring San Diego’s economy increased by 0.9 percent in April, the biggest gain since January 2010 when it rose by 1 percent.

Except for a dip in the index for the national economy, the five other components making up the University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County grew. The biggest surges came from an increase in building permits issued, and the amount of help wanted advertising during the month. Other gains came from reduced initial claims for unemployment insurance, local stock prices and local consumer confidence.

The index has risen in 22 of the past 25 months, with the other three months staying unchanged.

Alan Gin, the USD economics professor who compiles the data, said the outlook for the remainder of the year remains the same.

“Positive economic growth is expected for the local economy for the rest of 2011, even though the economic news is decidedly mixed,” Gin said.

Gains in building permits are coming mainly from new apartment construction.

— Mike Allen