The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.6 percent last month, the largest gain since May, Professor Alan Gin announced Tuesday.
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The increase was broad-based, with five of the six sectors improving. The only component that declined, local stocks, was down only slightly, Gin said.
It was also the first time since May that the index climbed for two months in a row.
"The outlook for the local economy remains positive for 2012," Gin said. He said the region will add 20,000 to 25,000 jobs this year.
The professor said the long-depressed housing construction market was "much better" in 2011 than the previous two years, led by a 170 percent increase over 2010 in permits authorized for multi-family housing. The number of permits for single-family homes was flat, he said.
The amount of help-wanted advertising increased every month last year, according to Gin.
He said local stocks ended 2011 down 9.4 percent. That compares to a 5.5 percent climb in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and losses of 0.1 percent in the S&P 500 and 1.8 percent in the NASDAQ Composite Index.
The USD Index ended the year at 116.8, compared to 110.7 at the end of 2010.
The low point of the recession was 100.7 in March 2009. The pre-recession high was 143.8 in both February and April of 2006.
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