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San Diego County's Economy Gave Mixed Signals In January

The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Institute for Real Estate's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County was released Monday, showing a mixed bag of results in January, with half the indicators up and the others down.

That leaves the index unchanged, following three months of increases, said Professor Alan Gin.

Gin said the amount of help-wanted advertising jumped last month, with smaller improvements in the employment picture and the number of residential units authorized by building permits. Ads for job-seekers were at their highest level since November 2007, he said.


But those gains were offset by drops in consumer confidence, the outlook for the national economy and, especially, local stock prices.

Gin said the local economy remained on track for growth this year, boosted by low gas prices and interest rates. However, growth won't be as strong as last year, he said.

"On the downside is turmoil and weakness in the global economy," Gin said. "Of particular concern is China, which has to deal with an implosion in its stock market, a potential real estate bubble, weakness in its financial sector and a restructuring of its economy away from export-fueled growth to a more consumer and consumption oriented economy."

The index stood at 139.6 in January — close to the post-recession high of 140.3 recorded last June, according to the professor.