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San Diego’s Economy Inches Up

— San Diego's index of leading economic indicators rose last month. It's the first time in two years the index has gained ground. It also ends a six month streak in which the index declined more than 2 percent each month.

University of San Diego economist Alan Gin says the uptick was relatively small at two tenths of a percent. He says consumer confidence helped lead the turnaround.

"It was sharply negative in March," he says. There was a big reversal in terms of local consumer confidence. Local consumers are not necessarily feeling better about the current situation, but their outlook for the future has brightened considerably and so that was very strong and that helped contribute to the rise in the index."

Gin says stronger local stock prices, a jump in building permits and a positive impression of the national economy also helped turn around the numbers. He says he generally wants to see three months of gains before he's ready to predict an end to the recession. Even so, he says there are signs that things could be getting better in late 2009 and early 2010.

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