Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
San Diego Lead Indicators Rise for Second Month
The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, rose for the second straight month in May. The index went up from April's 100.9 to 101.2. Figures for building permits, stock prices, consumer confidence, and the national economy went up. Help wanted advertising and initial unemployment claims were negative. Until they turned up in April, Gin's indicators had gone down every month from March of 2007 when they were 139.3. Normally, lead indicators should move up three straight months before they signal a possible change.
However, the national economy got somewhat bad news today (June 25). Weekly first-time unemployment claims rose 15,000 to 627,000. Continuing claims, indicating people still on unemployment, rose 29,000 to 6.74 million. The somewhat good news was that gross domestic product, or the total output of goods and services, was revised to a minus 5.5% in this year's first quarter from the previous estimate of minus 5.7%. The fourth quarter of 2008 dropped 6.3%. The combined two quarters represented the worst such decline in more than 60 years.