Consumer confidence high in San Diego County

The San Diego County economy had a strong start to the fall, led by consumer confidence and low unemployment, said a monthly study from the University of San Diego released Wednesday.

The report from the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate looks at different parts of the local economy to see how it’s doing. In a joint report for September and October, the majority of the six indicators were positive both months.

Consumer confidence was up for the 16th month in a row in October ,which economist Alan Gin, author of the report, attributed to a strong labor market.

“When people have jobs they feel more confident,” he said.

  • Residential homebuilding was the only negative aspect of the economy with 13.6 percent less units authorized through the third quarter compared to the same time last year. Homebuilding is seen as a major part of the economy because it affects many real estate-related jobs and stabilizes home and rent prices
  • Initial claims for unemployment were down, dropping the unemployment rate to 3.7 percent in October — compared to 4.7 percent at the same time in 2016.
  • Help wanted advertising was unchanged in October, but broke a streak of seven consecutive declines.
  • Local stock prices, which include Qualcomm, Sempra Energy and Jack in the Box, followed gains at the national level. The Bloomberg San Diego County Index was up 19.8 percent through the third quarter. At the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.4 percent, the S&P 500 up 12.5 percent and the NASDAQ Composite Index rose 20.7 percent.

As of October, San Diego County had added 16,600 jobs year over year. That is less than the start of this year when roughly 30,000 jobs were added in the 12-month period.

Gin said the economy was slowing down, but it might not be bad for everyone in the county.

“If it could take some of the pressure of the housing market, that would probably be good,” he said.

Gin said the new tax plan being debated in Congress this week could spell trouble for California because of a loss of state and local tax deductions, as well as possible changes to the mortgage interest rate deduction.

The USD index’s rating for October was 146.2, up .6 percent from September. It hit a low of 100.7 in March 2009. It was 139.8 in October 2016.

phillip.molnar@sduniontribune.com (619) 293-1891 Twitter: @phillipmolnar

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