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San Diego County Economic Indicators Increase Slightly In November

Real estate signs advertise the sale of three houses in a row in Encinitas in...

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Real estate signs advertise the sale of three houses in a row in Encinitas in San Diego County, July 13, 2006.

The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate released its index of leading economic indicators on Thursday, which showed a 0.3 percent rise in November, the largest gain in seven months.

The increase was led by gains in housing permits approved by local governments, employment and consumer confidence, according to USD professor Alan Gin.

He said November is usually the worst month of the year for housing, but the component rose for the second month in a row thanks to new multi-family construction projects.

The gains were partially offset by a decline in help-wanted advertising and local stock prices.

The index was coming off losses in four of the past six months, with one gain and one flat month.

"While November's increase is welcome news, more is needed in the coming months to adjust the outlook, which is currently for a positive but slower growing local economy in 2017,'' Gin said. "Wage and salary employment is expected to increase by about 25,000 in the county during the year, which is less than what the region has been experiencing in the last few years.''

He said that because of the slower rate of job growth, the local unemployment rate is expected to increase to 4.6 percent from the current 4.3 percent. Higher interest rates and affordability issues will limit housing prices, which are expected to increase by low single digits in the coming year, he said.

The index stood at 140.2 in November. Despite the sluggish summer performance, the figure is higher than the same month in 2015 and above the level at the start of 2016.

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