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The local economy, as measured by Alan Gin’s index of Leading Economic Indicators, sustained its largest one-month drop between January and February, Gin reported today.

The monthly drop was the worst on record since 1977. (Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, has data going back to that year but began publishing the index in 1991.)

The index tracks six components. Four were sharply negative this month: building permits, unemployment insurance claims, consumer confidence and help wanted ads. The national economy component dropped moderately. One category, local stock prices, rose slightly.

The index has now dropped for 34 of the last 35 months.

Here’s Gin:

The outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent months, and that is decidedly negative. February’s employment report for San Diego showed that the county last an astonishing 37,900 jobs compared to the same month last year. … The local economy is likely to remain in a downturn for the rest of this year, with heavy year-over-year job losses to continue and the unemployment rate likely to top 10 percent.

You can read more here, and read Rich Toscano’s latest analysis, on the February unemployment numbers.

KELLY BENNETT

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