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Hopeful Signs In San Diego Economic Index

The index of leading economic indicators for San Diego County showed a positive gain in September; the report holds mixed economic news.

— The economic index for San Diego carried mixed news today.

On the negative side, the University of San Diego (USD) Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate index showed building permits dropped, unemployment claims were up and local stock prices fell. On the positive side, the number of help wanted advertisements went up for the eighth straight month, the national economic indicators rose and consumer confidence rebounded from a sharp drop in August.

"It did rise some in September, but it's still at a really low level. And consumer spending is a big part of the economy," said Alan Gin, USD economist.

There are positive developments outside of the index. San Diego's jobless rate fell below 10 percent last month, and the Nation's Gross Domestic Product rose 2.5 percent in the third quarter.

Even so, Gin remains concerned about consumer confidence, which rose a little in September.

"That was after a very sharp drop in August. So the index has been erratic for the past few months. It keeps alternating between going up and going down," said Gin.

Consumer confidence is critical because it is linked to consumer spending and that accounts for two thirds of all economic activity, according to Gin.

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