June 17, 1999--The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.1 percent in April. Leading the move to the upside were strong gains in building permits and local stock prices. Also slightly positive was initial claims for unemployment insurance. On the downside, help wanted advertising dropped sharply, and there were smaller decreases in consumer confidence and the outlook for the national economy.
|Index of Leading Economic
The index for San Diego County that includes the components listed below (April)
Source: University of San Diego
|+ 0.1 %|
Residential units authorized by building permits in San Diego County (April)
Source: Construction Industry Research Board
Initial claims for unemployment insurance in San Diego County, inverted (April)
Source: Employment Development Department
San Diego Stock Exchange Index (April)
Source: San Diego Daily Transcript
An index of consumer confidence in San Diego County (April)
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
|Help Wanted Advertising
An index of help wanted advertising in the San Diego Union-Tribune (April)
Source: Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce
Index of Leading Economic Indicators (April)
Source: The Conference Board
April's gain, although slight, marked the first time since last August where the Index registered consecutive monthly increases. The Index has also put together a modest streak of consecutive months without a decline. It reinforces previous forecasts of continued growth in San Diego at a slower pace. That forecast may also be the case for the national economy, as the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell for the first time since June of last year.
The performance of building permits continues to be stellar. An already strong year was bolstered by April figures that showed residential units authorized by building permits at their highest monthly level of 1999. Multi-family units authorized continued their rebound. In the first four months of 1999, 2,915 multi-family units have been authorized by building permits. That nearly matches the yearly totals for the last two years (3,064 in 1997 and 3,013 in 1998), and exceeds the yearly totals for every year from 1991 to 1996.
On the negative side, help wanted advertising continues to plummet. April's drop was the eighth consecutive monthly decrease in that component. On a year-to-year basis, help wanted advertising in April was down 25% from the same month in 1998. Further hurting the Index has been the performance of consumer confidence, which now has also decreased for eight months in a row.
April's gain puts the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 141.9, up from March's reading of 141.7. A revision in the national Index of Leading Economic Indicators for March did not affect the local Index for that month. The fluctuations of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County for the last year are given below:
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: (619) 260-4883
FAX: (619) 260-4891
The Index of Leading Economic Indicators is published by USDs Real Estate Institute (REI). For more information about the REI, please contact Mark Riedy at (619) 260-4872.