Residential building, consumer confidence boost San Diego’s economy in August

An increase in residential home building gave San Diego County’s economy a boost in August, said a monthly study from the University of San Diego released Thursday.

The report from the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate examines different parts of the local economy to get an idea of its strength. Three of the six indicators of the study were positive in August.

Weighing down the report were a decline in local stock prices, help wanted advertising and a slight increase in unemployment claims.

“Positive but slower growth is expected for the rest of the year and at least through the first half of 2018,” wrote Alan Gin, author of the report.

Residential homebuilding, seen as a major part of the economy because it affects many jobs and stabilizes home and rent prices, was up again in August.

The index uses a moving average to smooth out building data. There were 463 residential permits issued in August, and 1,017 in July, said the U.S. Census Building Permits Survey.

Consumer confidence continued to increase for the 14th week in a row, apparently a reflection of increased assurance of the national economy.

Initial claims for unemployment were up again, but at a lower rate than previous months. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in August, up from 4.4 percent in July but down from 4.7 percent in August last year.

Help wanted advertising was down by 1,500 to 45,000, said the Conference Board.

Local stock prices, measured by the Bloomberg San Diego County Index, were slightly down when looking at the average value for the month.

The highest valued stock in the index is Illumina at $198.26 as of Thursday afternoon. The University City-based company has seen a noticeable increase since December when the price hovered around $130.

The USD index’s rating for August was 145.2, up 0.1 percent from last month. It hit a low of 100.7 in March 2009. It was 139.9 in August 2016.

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

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