John T. Griffith 5:14 p.m., May 22
San Diego Gets Deflation Whiff. Real Personal Income Also Declines
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that for the first half of 2009, the San Diego consumer price index dropped 0.6% from 2008, the first decline in the local CPI since 1954, according to Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Drops in gasoline and natural gas prices accounted for almost the entire price decline. Also, in 2008, personal income adjusted for inflation declined 0.04%, the first decrease since 1993. Personal income for the San Diego metro area (the county) is 16th in the nation. On a per capita basis, however, San Diego ranks 28th, according to Cunningham.
Through July of this year, the 3,190 new residential permits over the last 12 months is the lowest since the 1930s, when the county's population was 1/12th what it is today. Cunningham does not expect consumer spending to rise much next year, and says, that it "will likely be a long slog before unemployment starts to decline."