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 SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.2 percent in October. The gain was due mainly to a large increase in stock prices and a moderate increase in the outlook for the national economy. Three other components (building permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance, and tourism) were slightly positive. The only negative indicator was help wanted advertising which was down sharply during the month.
 October's increase was the seventh consecutive monthly increase in the index. The index continues to forecast a recovery in the local economy, albeit a weak one. This weakness is illustrated by an analysis of individual indicators. The gains in the index in the last two months were led by increases in stock prices. In the past, stock prices have been considered a good indicator of a company's future prospects. In the current market environment, though, the companies experiencing increases in stock prices are those that have restructured and cut a large portion of their work force. Thus, there is some question about the leading ability of stock prices. Eliminating the gains in that component would have left the index virtually unchanged the last two months.
 The labor market in San Diego remains in the doldrums. On the positive side, initial claims for unemployment insurance resumed their decline after a one-month uptick. However, the help wanted advertising index was mediocre in October, which is usually one of the stronger months of the year for that indicator. It had a reading of 108.0, compared with values of 135.6 and 134.7 during the same month in 1991 and 1992, respectively. Thus, while the tumble in the local economy has probably ended, any growth is likely to be restrained at best.
 October's increase puts the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 118.0, up from September's revised reading of 117.7. Revised figures for various components resulted in change of +0.1 percent for September instead of the previously reported change of +0.2 percent. August's reading was revised to 117.5, with a change of +0.3 percent instead of the previously reported +0.4 percent. The monthly fluctuations of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County for the last year are given below:
 Index of Leading Economic Indicators: +0.2 percent
 The index for San Diego County that includes the
 components listed below (October)
 Source: University of San Diego
 Building Permits: +0.38 percent
 Residential units authorized by building
 permits in San Diego County, (October)
 Source: Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce
 Unemployment Insurance: +0.17 percent
 Initial claims for unemployment insurance
 in San Diego County, inverted (October)
 Source: Employment Development Department
 Stock Prices: +1.07 percent
 San Diego Stock Exchange Index (October)
 Source: San Diego Daily Transcript
 Tourism +0.29 percent
 An index of tourist activity in San Diego
 County (October)
 Source: San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau
 Help Wanted Advertising: -1.17 percent
 An index of help wanted advertising in the
 San Diego Union-Tribune (October)
 Source: Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce
 National Economy +0.50 percent
 Index of Leading Economic Indicators (October)
 Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
 Index Percent change
 1992 October 114.6 -0.1
 November 114.6 +0.0
 December 115.1 +0.4
 1993 January 115.3 +0.2
 February 115.6 +0.2
 March 115.6 -0.0
 April 115.9 +0.3
 May 116.1 +0.2
 June 116.4 +0.2
 July 117.2 +0.6
 August 117.5 +0.3
 September 117.7 +0.1
 October 118.0(a) +0.2
 (a) Subject to revision.
 -0- 12/15/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on the University of San Diego's Index of Leading Economic Indicators or the activities of the University's Economic Research Group, contact Prof. Alan Gin, School of Business Administration, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110./
 /CONTACT: Prof. Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, 619-260-4883 or (fax) 619-260-4891/

CO: University of San Diego ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO

JL-EH -- SD003 -- 4207 12/15/93 15:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 15, 1993

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