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Economy

San Diego County Economic Indicators Unchanged In October

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The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Institute for Real Estate's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County was released Tuesday, and showed continued sluggishness in the region.

The index was unchanged in October, following three straight months of declines.

"That the drop has been stopped at three months is encouraging and could suggest that a slowdown in the local economy in the coming year might be limited," USD Professor Alan Gin said.

Another positive is declining gas prices, Gin said. He said every penny in lower gas prices adds about $1 million per month to the region's economy.

Despite the possible encouragement, only two sectors in the index were positive in October — the outlook for the national economy and consumer confidence.

The employment picture was weak as initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising went the wrong direction for the fifth month in a row and local stock prices fell for the third straight month, Gin said.

He said the number of residential building permits that were authorized was actually really strong, but not enough to break a four-month slide in that sector.

Despite the sluggish economic performance of late, the October index reading of 137.6 is still almost eight points higher than the same month last year, according to the professor's data.