The local economy registered its 14th month of increases in May according to the University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators, economist Alan Gin reported this morning.

Leading the charge was a “big surge” in building permits, Gin said. Other upsides were increases in help wanted ads, the outlook for the national economy and a slight turnaround for local consumer confidence, which had been negative for four months.

Weighing negatively on the index: local stock prices were down sharply, and more people claimed unemployment insurance for the first time.

Here’s Gin:

The outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent months: San Diego is likely to have slow to moderate growth for the rest of 2010 and into at least the first half of 2011. One potential problem impacting the recovery is the fiscal problems faced by all levels of government, particularly the huge budget deficit faced by the state of California.

— KELLY BENNETT

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