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The latest report from the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators reveals August as the second consecutive month to show declines in five of the six index components. The overall index dropped 0.6 percent in August.

Building permits, unemployment insurance, stock prices, consumer confidence, help wanted advertising and the national economy comprise the collection of factors examined by Alan Gin, professor of economics at USD, and his team each month.

Driving the decline most significantly were drops in consumer confidence and a rise in initial claims for unemployment insurance.

The only factor to show a slight upturn was the number of help wanted ads, which the economists measure from print ads in the Union-Tribune and online ads from Monster.com.

These data corroborate the economists’ previous forecast that San Diego’s economy will slow at the end of 2006 and continue to do so through at least the beginning of next year. The study cites housing market difficulties and fuel prices as two contributors to the decline.

The index showed a negative reading for the fifth straight month.

KELLY BENNETT

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