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Economic Indicators Point To A Faster Recovery

— The economic outlook for the San Diego region is brightening a bit. The University of San Diego index of leading economic indicators jumped 1 percent last month, largely because of a strengthening job market and a significant rise in building permits. USD economist Alan Gin compiles the index, which hints the recovery could build toward the end of the year.

"The trend of the index has not only been positive, but its been sharply higher, so that is suggesting that we might see some acceleration, in terms of the growth in the economy,” said Gin. “We have added almost 25,000 jobs year over year."

A surge in help-wanted advertising and a decline in unemployment claims fueled the index’s surge. The labor market is starting to recover from the economic downturn, but it could be years before the region regains all the jobs lost.

“The local economy lost over 120,000 jobs in that period. We've gained about a fifth of those back,” said Gin.

Consumer confidence was strong in March, and the outlook for the national economy was also up. Local stock prices were the only indicator to decline last month.

The index tracks six key indicators that help predict the region's economic health six to eight months from now.

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