San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce‘s latest business outlook index shows “sustained optimism” with back-to-back months at the highest level since early 2016.

“We haven’t seen this strong, sustained optimism for some time,” said Dino D’Auria, chief banking officer at Silvergate Bank, which sponsors the forecast.

The index for Feburary stood at 25.2, down slightly from January’s 25.6, but above the long-term average.

“A year ago the index was only at 19.3 and we have to go all the way back to mid-2015 to find two months of the sustained positive outlook we’re now experiencing,” sand D’Auria.

But Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber, warned that changes in health care at the national level could cause problems for local businesses in coming months.

“Now that we are looking at another overhaul of federal insurance mandates it is important that the transition is done with as much clarity as possible,” he said. “A replacement bill should prioritize maintenance of expanded coverage, while considering the broader economic impact of healthcare on the local, state and federal levels.”

The index is based on a survey of randomly selected members of the San Diego, East County, Alpine, Escondido, Lakeside, Vista, Santee, Encinitas and National City Chambers of Commerce.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.