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Economic indicator up in Southern California for third quarter in a row [Updated]

August 31, 2010 | 10:36 am

Socal For the third quarter in a row, a leading indicator for Southern California suggests economic activity in the region is starting to pick up. 

The Southern California Leading Economic Indicator increased 0.74 of a point, or 0.74%, to 99.03 for the second quarter this year, said Adrian Fleissig, of the economics department of Cal State Fullerton. The leading economic indicator for the U.S. also increased in the second quarter, he said.

This is the first time since the first quarter of 2005 that the Southern California leading economic indicator grew for three quarters in a row, he said.

"It's showing an increase in economic activity," he said, "and we'll soon hopefully see an increase in employment."

The leading economic indicator, which predicts economic activity for the next three to six months, is calculated using seven components. Five of those were positive for the second quarter: the increase in money supply adjusted for inflation, Pacific region consumer confidence, regional building permits, change in the interest-rate spread and regional nonfarm employment. Only two were negative: the decline in the S&P 500 and an increase in unemployment in the region.

[Updated, 10:51 a.m.: The leading indicator increased to 99.03 in the second quarter, from 98.30 in the first. It had increased 0.78% the quarter before.]

"I'm giving positive news to Southern California," Fleissig said. "I wasn't doing that for awhile."

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Matthew Mendoza via Flickr