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High Gas Prices Dragging Down San Diego Economy

There are not many bright spots on San Diego county's economic horizon. The University of San Diego's Index of Economic Indicators for April was down another 1.4 per cent. The Index has dropped in 24 of the past 25 months.

USD Economist Alan Gin says high and rising gas prices are a growing drag on the county economy.

Gin: For ever ten cents that the price of a gallon of gasoline goes up it takes about $7 million a month out of the local economy. People are spending that money on gasoline when they could have been going out to eat dinner or buying clothes or something like that. So if gas prices are about 70 cents higher than they were a year ago, that's taking about $50 million a month out of the local economy.

Gin says continued weakness in the housing market has cost thousands of jobs in construction and real estate services.

He says the broad weakness in the index suggests there will be no recovery before the end of this year, and may not 'til sometime in 2009.

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