The local economy got another boost in August — its biggest since March 2004 — with a bump in consumer confidence, increased local stock prices and a sunnier outlook for the national economy, according to the University of San Diego index of leading economic indicators.

Those three positive factors outweighed big negatives in building permit activity (the third worst month on record), unemployment and help wanted ads.

Here’s USD’s Alan Gin on August’s index:

It reinforces the view projected since the Index first turned positive that the local economy is approaching a bottom. …

A key in the coming months will be whether the local economy can stabilize as the summer ends and we head into the slower fall and winter months. Back-to-school sales have already been classified as weak, and not much improvement is expected in the holiday buying season. As was indicated in previous reports, it looks like a bottom is more likely in the first half of 2010 than in the latter part of 2009.


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