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Economic Indicators Fall For First Time In 27 Months

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Aired 7/26/11

The University of San Diego Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell for the first time in 27 months in June. The index lost .2 of a percent of its value.

— All but one of the indicators tracked by the University of San Diego, lost value in June. Consumer confidence lost a percent, building permits were down .75 of a percent, first-time unemployment claims rose and local stock prices lost value. A declining index casts some uncertainty on the region's future economic health.

Economic Indicators Fall For First Time In 27 Months
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"Our string of increases has been broken," said Alan Gin, University of San Diego economist. "So there is the potential that the economy could stall out and possibly even turn back downward. We just need more data in the coming months to confirm whether or not that is a new trend."

The labor market is giving mixed signals about the economy. The unemployment rate is back up over 10 percent, but help-wanted advertising increased and salary growth is considered solid.

"Even though the unemployment rate is still pretty high at 10.4 percent, (jobs) are up compared to last year," said Gin. "If you take the first six months of this year and compare it to the first six months of 2010, the local economy has almost 17,000 new jobs. Than it did last year."

The only bright spots in the index were a surge in help-wanted advertising and a positive view of the national economy. It is too early to say if the economy is going to go through a rough patch, because it usually takes three months of negative data to indicate the arrival of a trend, according to Gin.

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