The University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center on Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego rose 1.3 percent in November and 0.8 percent in December, according to figures released Thursday.
A positive jobs picture and strong performance by local stocks outweighed the sluggish numbers of residential units authorized by building permits and pushed the index to its highest level in more than seven years, USD professor Alan Gin said.
“With the strong uptrend in the indicators and with most of them positive, the forecast is for continued growth in the local economy at least through the end of 2015,” Gin said. “The forecast for the year ahead is for job growth in the 35,000 to 40,000 range, which will drive the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate below 5 percent.”
The index reached 132.4 last month, the highest point since September 2007, according to data supplied by the professor.
Concerning the one downside — building permits — Gin said the numbers of authorized housing units declined in 11 of the 12 months of last year.
“For the year as a whole, residential units authorized fell by 17 percent,” Gin said.
“Whereas multi-family units led the gains in this component in recent years, they were responsible for much of 2014 losses,” Gin said. “Multi- family units authorized were down almost 23 percent for the year, while single- family units were down less than 4 percent.”
He said the better job market and lower gas prices fueled a small increase in consumer confidence the last couple of months.
—City News Service