The University of San Diego said Tuesday its index of leading economic indicators for the metro area was unchanged in October and declining for three months.
“Three moves in a single direction in a leading index is what economists usually look for as a signal of a turning point in an economy,” said economist Alan Gin. “That the drop has been stopped at three months is encouraging and could suggest that a slowdown in the local economy in the coming year might be limited.”
Only two of the index components were positive, with the outlook for the national economy up sharply and consumer confidence up modestly. This was enough to offset the four negative components of local stock prices, building permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising.
One positive development recently has been the fall in gas prices, Gin said. The price of gasoline is down more than 30 cents a gallon compared to this time last year and down about $1.50 a gallon compared to the peak in July.
Every cent a gallon that the price falls adds a million dollars a month to the local economy.
The index, which covers the economy of all of San Diego County, is tracked by USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.
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