A local index of leading economic indicators for San Diego County barely budged in May, rising by 0.1 percent compared to April as the components of the index moved minimally.
The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s index was 143.2 in May, just a hair above the index in April, 143.
“May’s gain represents a classic glass half full/half empty situation,” said professor Alan Gin, the USD economist who publishes the monthly report. “While it was positive, the gain was small, and follows an unchanged reading in April.”
Gin analyzes six factors to determine the monthly index, intended to represent the outlook for San Diego’s economy: the number of building permits authorized, initial claims for unemployment insurance, stock prices, consumer confidence, online help-wanted advertising and the national economy.
In May both consumer confidence and the outlook for the national economy improved compared with April, rising 0.83 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance and local stock prices also rose, albeit slightly, increasing 0.06 percent and 0.13 percent, respectively.
“These gains were enough to offset losses in residential units authorized by building permits and help-wanted advertising to push the USD Index to its sixth gain in seven months,” Gin said.
The number of building permits fell 0.2 percent and online help wanted advertising saw a 0.6 percent reduction in San Diego County, according to the monthly report.
“None of the components moved significantly in either direction,” Gin said. “This falls in line with the previously reported outlook of a positive but slower growing local economy.”
Although each component in the index is seasonally adjusted, the index has stalled in each of the last two summers, he added.
“What the pattern plays out this summer remains to be seen,” Gin said.
The indices in April and in May were the first to reach or exceed 143 in a decade. In April 2007, the index was 143.8. The index peaked in March of that year at 144.2, the only month it has reached or surpassed 144 since its inception in January of 2002.