A local economic index remained unchanged in September, with as many positive indicators and negative ones, contributing to a flattening performance curve that was much bumpier during the last 12 months.
The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County held steady as stock prices of local companies, consumer confidence and national economic measures improved, and building permits, help wanted advertising and unemployment insurance activity worsened.
September’s performance comes off a three-month decline that ended with a slight uptick in August. It brings the index to about the same level it was in February.
The Burnham-Moores Center said it expects the local economy to be “positive” through the first half of 2017, “but the rate of growth is likely to be slower.”
“The initial forecast for 2017 is for an increase of 30,000 jobs for the year,” it said. “That is a solid gain but it is unlikely to put much of a dent in the local unemployment rate.”
Local stocks posted gains for a fourth consecutive month, while consumer confidence was at its strongest in a year and a half. The national Index of Leading Economic Indicators turned positive in September as the advance estimate of gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent – the largest quarterly increase in two years.
The number of residential units approved countywide dropped in September, leaving the measure lower in six of the last seven months. Adding to the negative indicators were a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance and a decrease in help-wanted advertising.