USD Local Economic Index Rises For 4th Month

The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Indicators rose slightly in July for the fourth consecutive month, led by a strong gain in local consumer confidence, it was announced Thursday.

The index, which is used to gauge the health of San Diego's economy, rose .1 percent last month, according Alan Gin, who compiles the index for USD's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Also contributing to the increase was an improvement in the outlook for the national economy and a small rise in local stock prices, according to the USD index.

"The outlook for San Diego's economy remains cautiously optimistic," Gin wrote.

On the downside, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance hit record levels, help-wanted advertising was down significantly, and building permits turned slightly negative, according to the index.

According to Gin, job losses are expected to continue for the rest of the year, but the bottom of the economic slump is projected to come in the first half of 2010.