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SD Economy Suffers Largest One-Month Decline Ever

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Aired 4/20/09

An index used to gauge the health of the local economy  suffered its largest one-month decline ever in February, a University of San  Diego professor announced today.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County fell 2.7  percent in February, according to Alan Gin, who compiles the index for USD's  Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

The decline was led by sharp drops in the number of building permits,  consumer confidence and help wanted advertising and a moderate slump in the  outlook for the national economy.

There was also a jump in the number of initial claims for unemployment  insurance.

The only positive component of the USD index was local stock prices,  which were up slightly.

"The outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent  months, and that is decidedly negative," Gin wrote.

According to Gin, the local economy is likely to remain in a downturn  for the rest of the year, with heavy year-over-year job losses expected to  continue and the unemployment rate likely to top 10 percent.

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