Leading Economic Indicators Down

in September and October

December 14, 2005 -- The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County was down in the two latest reporting periods, September and October.  Components down in both months were building permits, consumer confidence, and help wanted advertising.  The only component that was positive in both months was initial claims for unemployment insurance.  There were mixed results as far as local stock prices and the outlook for the national economy was concerned. 

Index of Leading Economic Indicators 
The index for San Diego County that includes the components listed below (October) 
Source: University of San Diego 
- 0.1 % 
Building Permits 
Residential units authorized by building permits in San Diego County (October) 
Source: Construction Industry Research Board 
- 1.40% 
Unemployment Insurance 
Initial claims for unemployment insurance in San Diego County, inverted (October) 
Source: Employment Development Department 
+ 0.87% 
Stock Prices 
San Diego Stock Exchange Index (October) 
Source: San Diego Daily Transcript 
- 0.38%
Consumer Confidence 
An index of consumer confidence in San Diego County (October) 
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
- 0.66% 
Help Wanted Advertising 
An index of help wanted advertising in the San Diego Union-Tribune (October) 
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
- 0.80% 
National Economy 
Index of Leading Economic Indicators (October) 
Source: The Conference Board 
+ 1.67% 

The declines in September and October mean the USD Index has now declined for three months in a row.  However, other than a big drop in September, there has not been a significant change in the Index since May.  It has changed in either direction by only 0.1 percent in five of the last six months.  The implication is that the economy is basically on a stable trajectory at this point.  The forecast is that San Diego County is likely to experience continued economic growth for the year ahead, although the may be a little slower than in recent years.  The forecast is for job growth of roughly 17,500, with the local unemployment rate to edge up slightly to 4.5 percent.

Highlights: Residential units authorized by building permits plunged in October.  The 634 units authorized for the month was the lowest level since March 1997.  Through October, residential units authorized were down almost four percent compared to the same period in 2004. . . The labor market variables remain mixed.  Initial claims for unemployment insurance has been the most consistent positive component in the USD Index, having been up now for six months in a row.  This has been offset by a downturn in help wanted advertising, which has been down for exactly the same period.  The net result is a relative stable local unemployment rate of 4.4% for October. . . Local stock prices dipped in October, which broke a modest five month winning streak. . . Consumer confidence continues to exert a strong negative influence, having fallen now for 10 consecutive months.  The consumer confidence index calculated by the San Diego Union-Tribune is down nearly 20% on a year-to-year basis.  As the latest survey (October) was taken during the heat of special election campaign, the political turmoil surrounding the City of San Diego probably had an impact in terms of the negative local outlook by consumers.  It remains to be seen whether the election of a new mayor can turn that situation around. . . The outlook for the national economy was very erratic during September and October, with a big drop in the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators in September, followed by a big jump in that component in October.  The national economy overall appears to be in good health, with the GDP in the third quarter growing at a solid 4.3 percent rate.

The values for the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County for the last year are given below:


% Change
2004 OCT 142.1 +0.0%
NOV 142.8 +0.5%
DEC 143.5 +0.5%
2005 JAN 143.4 -0.1%
FEB 143.3 -0.1%
MAR 142.7 -0.4%
APR 142.1 -0.4%
MAY 142.0 -0.1%
JUN 142.1 +0.1%
JUL 142.2 +0.1%
AUG 142.1 -0.1%
SEP 141.4 -0.5%
OCT 141.3 -0.1%

Home - All Months

For more information on the University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators, please contact:

Professor Alan Gin 
School of Business Administration 
University of San Diego 
5998 Alcalá Park 
San Diego, CA 92110 
TEL: (858) 603-3873 

FAX: (858) 484-5304 

E-mail: agin@san.rr.com