The University of San Diego released its Index of Leading Economic Indicators for the region Thursday, showing monthly rises of 0.9 percent in both February and March.
The increase was led by an improved employment picture and uptick in consumer confidence, said USD professor Alan Gin of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.
Five of the six components of the index for San Diego County were up in March, the fifth straight month on the plus side, according to Gin.
“This suggests continued growth in the local economy through the end of 2012, with the pace picking up towards the end of the year,” Gin said.
He said the only sector that failed to improve in March was local stock prices, which were flat. Even the number of construction permits issued, the area that has been slowest to recover from the recession, was higher following a sharp dive at the beginning of 2012.
The release of the index was held up the past couple of months by a change in responsibilities in reporting of construction permit data, from the Construction Industry Research Board to the California Homebuilding Foundation.
The index now stands at 119.8, the highest mark since it reached the same figure in May 2008.
– City News Service