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San Diego County Economic Indicators Ended 2015 On Positive Note

The area's economy ended 2015 on an upward trend, according to the University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Institute Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County.

The index rose 0.7 percent in November and 0.2 percent in December. Professor Alan Gin combined the reports because of the holidays, travel and beginning of the spring semester.

Sharp increases in residential building permits issued by local governments and an improving jobs picture helped lead the improvement. The positive end-of-the-year performance reversed a series of late-summer drops in the indicators.


"The gains reinforced the view that the declines in the index from July to September suggested a slowing of growth in the local economy as opposed to a downturn," Gin said.

"The forecast is for 35,000 jobs to be added locally in 2016, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.5 percent," the professor said. "That would be the fifth consecutive year of 30,000-plus job growth in San Diego County."

He said that for all of 2015, more than 9,900 residential units were authorized by building permits, up 50 percent over the year before and the most in a decade.

On a down note, stock prices for San Diego-based companies last year fell 2.6 percent, compared to 2.2 percent for the Dow Jones Industrials, 0.7 percent for the S&P 500 Index, and 5.4 percent for the NASDAQ Composite Index.

The index stood at 139.8 in December, the highest since a 140.3 in June.