The local economy declined in April, marking the 12th such decline in the last 13 months, according to the latest economic index released this morning by Alan Gin at the University of San Diego.

April’s index declined 0.1 percent after March showed a slight increase to break 11 consecutive monthly declines. The slide in April stemmed mostly from drops in residential building permits, help wanted advertising and the outlook for the national economy.

Those drops were nearly balanced by slight gains in local stock prices and consumer confidence, as well as fewer initial claims for unemployment insurance for the past three months — a measure Gin uses to track how many people are losing their jobs.

“The outlook is for continued weakness in the local economy through the end of 2007 and possibly into the first part of 2008,” Gin wrote in the index. “That weakness will not likely reach the stage of a recession, but will manifest itself in slower job growth, higher unemployment, continued slow home sales, and a general decline in economic activity, including sales and income growth.”

Click here to view the entire index. Or you can view Gin’s page showing the monthly index back to 2002.

KELLY BENNETT

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