San Diego’s economy had some hiccups late last year, but still finished 2013 in better shape than 2012. That’s the conclusion of an economic index released Friday by the University of San Diego.
The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Leading Economic Indicators uses factors such as initial claims for unemployment, stock prices, the number of job advertisements and consumer confidence to gauge the strength of San Diego’s economy. The index, released monthly, ended December at 128.1, down slightly from November, but still up 3.9 percent from December 2012‘s 123.2 reading. Overall, the index, while sporadically dipping, is well above the Great Recession bottom of 100.7 in March 2009.
Last year, employers in San Diego added 23,000 jobs, which was down from the 25,000 in 2012. Still, economist Alan Gin, who authors the index, sees employers adding 25,000 more people to payrolls in 2014, pushing the unemployment rate below 6 percent, adjusted for seasonal factors. In December, Gin said it was 6.8 percent, including seasonal factors such as holiday hiring.
Despite the index falling two of 2013’s final three months, Gin said economists look for three consecutive months before the signal of a turning point.
The November numbers were released with December’s data due to the USD holiday break. Overall, the index rose 0.4 percent from October to November, and fell 0.2 percent from November to December.
Here’s a look at how they breakdown:
Residential building permits authorized: Up 3.39 percent on index in November, and 2.16 percent in December. In 2013, total residential units were up 46 percent from 2012, for the highest total since 2006. Most of the gain came in multifamily units.
Initial claims for Unemployment Insurance: down on the index in November by 2.05 percent, and down 2.44 percent in December (which means initial claims were up). The unemployment rate dropped in December, but largely because many people gave up looking for work.
Help wanted ads: Down 1.32 percent on the index in November and down 1.5 percent in December. The drop in job advertisements could be related to initial claims for unemployment insurance.
Stock prices for local companies: Up 0.4 percent on the index in November and up 0.3 percent in December. Local stock prices rose more than 36 percent in 2013, which trailed the NASDAQ composite’s 38.3 percent gain, but beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was up 26.5 percent and the S&P 500 index, which was up 29.6 percent.
Consumer Confidence: down 0.24 percent on the index in November and down 0.2 percent in December. Consumer Confidence dropped after six consecutive monthly gains. “The political turmoil over the federal government shutdown, the extension of the debt ceiling, and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act may have finally taken its toll on consumer confidence,” the index report says.
The National Economy: up 1.99 percent on the index in November and up 0.2 percent in December. The same factors used for San Diego’s index are used by The Conference Board for the national economy. That measure has been up for six consecutive months. The advance estimate for Gross Domestic Product growth in the fourth quarter was 3.2 percent, a number considered solid and up 0.1 percent from 2012’s fourth quarter. Still, it was down from the 4.1 percent growth in the third quarter.
courtesy of: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/