Leading Economic Indicators Down Sharply in June

Note: The tentative date for the release of next month's report is August 28.

July 29, 2008 -- The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County fell 1.0 percent in June.  Sharp drops in consumer confidence and local stock prices led the way to the downside.  Two other components - - initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising - - were moderately negative, while there was a slight downturn in the outlook for the national economy.  The one positive component was building permits, which were up significantly.  June's drop was the ninth consecutive significant (greater than one percent) drop in the USD Index, which has fallen in 26 of the last 27 months.

Index of Leading Economic Indicators 
The index for San Diego County that includes the components listed below (June) 
Source: University of San Diego 
- 1.0 % 
Building Permits 
Residential units authorized by building permits in San Diego County (June) 
Source: Construction Industry Research Board 
+ 1.94% 
Unemployment Insurance 
Initial claims for unemployment insurance in San Diego County, inverted (June) 
Source: Employment Development Department 
- 0.67% 
Stock Prices 
San Diego Stock Exchange Index (June) 
Source: San Diego Daily Transcript 
- 1.34%
Consumer Confidence 
An index of consumer confidence in San Diego County (June) 
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
- 4.89% 
  Help Wanted Advertising 
An index of online help wanted advertising in San Diego (June) 
Source: Monster Worldwide
- 0.78% 
National Economy 
Index of Leading Economic Indicators (June) 
Source: The Conference Board 
- 0.19% 

The outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent months: Continued weakness in the local economy through the first half of 2009, with no end in sight at this point.  As was projected in last month's report, job growth for the first half of 2008 has now turned negative.  This marks the first time since September 1993 that job growth has been negative over a six month (two quarter) period when compared to the previous year.  The weakness in the labor market dates back even farther, with the run-up in the unemployment rate beginning one year ago in June 2007.

Highlights:  Despite rebounding strongly in June, residential units authorized by building permits were down more than 30 percent for the first half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.  A surge in multi-family units authorized in June cut the loss in that category to 21 percent for the first half, while single-family units are down by almost 39 percent. . . Both labor market variables continue to be weak.  For the first six months of 2008, a total of 95,723 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, compared to 76,289 for the same period in 2007.  On the hiring side of the market, help wanted advertising fell for the 22nd straight month.  As a result, the local unemployment rate jumped to 5.9 percent in June from the 5.5 percent rate in May. . . The turnaround in the raw data for local consumer confidence in May turned out to be a aberration, with the local measure resuming its decline in June.  In total, local consumer confidence dropped 37 percent in the first half of 2008. . . Local stock prices were battered along with other stocks as the equity markets suffered their worst June in decades, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 10 percent in the month and the Nasdaq Composite down more than 9 percent. . . The national Index of Leading Economic Indicators dipped for the second month in a row as the news on the national economy remains mixed.  Growth in Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2008 was revised upward to 1.0 percent from the previous revised value of 0.9 percent (the original estimate was 0.6 percent).  However, the national economy has lost jobs in each of the first six months of 2008, and the national unemployment rate remained at an elevated 5.5 percent..

June's decrease puts the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 118.4, down from May's revised reading of 119.6. Revisions in building permits and the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators caused the previously reported change of -1.1 percent to be revised to -1.2 percent for the month.  Please visit the Website address given below to see the revised changes for the individual components.  The values for the USD Index for the last year are given below:


% Change
2007 JUN 137.3 -0.8%
  JUL 136.8 -0.4%
  AUG 134.6 -1.6%
  SEP 133.5 -0.8%
  OCT 131.7 -1.4%
  NOV 129.4 -1.8%
  DEC 128.1 -1.0%
2008 JAN 126.1 -1.6%
  FEB 124.4 -1.4%
  MAR 122.7 -1.4%
  APR 120.9 -1.4%
  MAY 119.6 -1.2%
  JUN 118.4 -1.0%

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