San Diego Leading Economic Indicators, Nov/Dec 2013

Leading Economic Indicators Mixed in November and December

Note:  The release of the November Index was delayed due to the holiday break at USD.  The tentative release date of next month’s report is February 27.

January 31, 2014 — The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County fell 0.2 percent in December after a moderate gain of 0.4 percent in November.  Sharp increases in building permits and the outlook for the national economy outweighed big drops in initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising to push the USD Index to a gain in November.  Weaker results in the former two components led to a decline in December, the second in three months

Despite the USD Index falling for two of the last three months, the outlook for the local economy remains positive.  Economists usually look for three consecutive changes in a leading index in the opposite direction as a signal of a turning point in the economy, and that hasn’t happened yet.  The local economy ended 2013 with a gain of more than 23,000 jobs, which was down from 2012 but still the second best year for job growth since 2012.  The forecast for 2014 is for another 25,000 jobs to be added in San Diego County, which would be enough to push the local unemployment rate down to under six percent.  Continued solid growth is expected in construction, leisure and hospitality, and heath care.



Index of Leading   Economic Indicators

The index for San Diego County that includes the components listed below

Source:  USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate



Building Permits

Residential units authorized by building permits in San Diego County

Source:  California Homebuilding Foundation



Unemployment   Insurance

Initial claims for unemployment insurance in San Diego County, inverted

Source:  Employment Development Department



Stock Prices

San Diego Stock Exchange Index

Source:  San Diego Daily Transcript



 Consumer Confidence

An index of consumer confidence in San Diego County, estimated

Source:  The Conference Board



Help Wanted   Advertising

An index of online help wanted advertising in San Diego

Source:  Employment Development Department



National Economy

Index of Leading Economic Indicators

Source:  The Conference Board



Highlights:  Residential units authorized by building permits ended the year with two very strong months.  For 2013, total residential units authorized increased by 46 percent to end at the highest level since 2006.  The gain was largely due to permits for multi-family units, which were up almost 64 percent, compared to a 17.6 percent increase in single-family units.  This left single-family units authorized at 2,565, down from more than 9,000 a year each year from 1998 to 2004. . . Both labor market variables continue to be under downward pressure.  Both initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising have been down and down sharply for three straight months.  Despite these negative results, the local unemployment rate ended the year at 6.4 percent, down from the 6.9 percent rate of November and the 8.2 percent rate at the end of 2012.  After seasonal adjustment to take into account hiring during the holiday season, the unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, the first time it has fallen below 7 percent since October 2008. . . 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, halting a string of six consecutive gains for that component. . . Like the broader market averages, local stock prices were up spectacularly during the year, advancing more than 36 percent.  That lagged the NASDAQ Composite (up 38.3 percent) but topped the Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 26.5 percent) and the S&P 500 Index (up 29.6 percent). . . The national Index of Leading Economic Indicators was up for the sixth consecutive month, which signals continued growth in the national economy.  The “advance” estimate of GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2013 came in at a solid 3.2 percent, down from the 4.1 percent growth of the third quarter but up sharply from the 0.1 growth in the fourth quarter of 2012.

           Index     % Change  


DEC    123.2           +0.4


JAN     123.5           +0.3

FEB     124.6           +0.9

MAR    124.9           +0.2

APR    125.7           +0.6

MAY    126.5           +0.6

JUN     126.6           +0.1

JUL     127.3           +0.6

AUG    127.8           +0.4

SEP     128.6           +0.6

OCT    128.0            -0.4

NOV    128.5           +0.4

DEC    128.1            -0.2

For more information on the University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators, please contact:

Professor Alan Gin                           TEL:  (858) 603-3873

School of Business Administration     FAX:  (858) 260-4891

University of San Diego                      E-mail:

5998 Alcalá Park                                Website:

San Diego, CA 92110                         Twitter:  @alanginusdsba

courtesy of:


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