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This just in: the local economy was weak last month.
Building permits to construct residential units had its lowest level for any month on record in December. Records go back to 1973.
Here’s Gin, referencing the latest unemployment numbers released last week:
The outlook remains unchanged from recent months. The local economy is expected to be weak for at least the first half of 2009, with job losses in particular expected to mount. … Retailing has been heavily impacted, with a weak Christmas buying season causing retail employment to fall by 8,500 jobs in December compared to the same month a year ago. The numbers are expected to worsen with the post-holiday closing of stores such as Mervyn’s, Circuit City, and Linens ‘n Things.