New statistics bode well for local economy

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Home-ConstructionSAN DIEGO — San Diego County’s economy should continue growing at least through the first part of next year, according to a report released Thursday by the University of San Diego.

The latest University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators show a 0.6 percent increase in May from the month before. The uptick was led by sharp gains in the number of residential building permits issued and local stock prices, USD Professor Alan Gin said.

“With May’s advance, the outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent reports,” Gin said. “Good growth is expected in the local economy through the end of 2013 and into at least the first part of 2014.”

The number of residential building permits issued in May topped 1,000 in a month for the second time this year. Not since 2007 had a single month had that many, he said.

Building permit totals so far in 2013 are up 50 percent over last year, according to Gin.

The professor said an improved overall economy has put more people to work and earned them greater incomes, which has increased demand for housing. That, in turn, has created more jobs in real estate and construction businesses, he said.

Gin said local stock prices rose 1.88 percent in May, reflecting an increase in the broader market in May.

On the labor front, the number of filers for unemployment insurance rose last month, but the amount of help-wanted advertising also went higher, he said.

The index stood at 126.4 in May, its highest mark since December 2007.

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