The University of San Diego economist Alan Gin expects the local economy to improve through the end of the year, possibly longer.
Gin made the prediction after the release of the University's Index of Leading Economic Indicators for July which showed an increase of 0.3 percent, the ninth straight increase.
"That suggests that we're going to have continued positive news as far as the local economy is concerned for the rest of 2012 and into the early part of 2013," he said.
Gin said the numbers predict economic growth because the numbers are leading indicators. One component is approved building permits in San Diego county, of which 263 were approved in July. This usually prompts economic activity, including the hiring of construction workers and jobs for real estate agents and escrow staff for the transaction.
"And when people move into the homes they tend to buy furniture appliances, maybe to a little remodeling. And that just has an impact on the local economy," Gin said.
Building was evident at a new Pulte Homes housing development in Torrey Highlands area, near SR-56.
With 44 homes available, Salesperson Anne-Marie Stephenson said her company began selling four new homes per month starting in April, a change from the depressed housing market.
"A majority of people are feeling that a bottom of the market has occurred and so they're out taking advantage of the good deals," she said.
Workers were seen assembling wooden frames of the homes that are selling for over $700,000, and 14 have been sold so far.
Also supporting the positive outlook, claims for unemployment insurance fell 0.83 percent. He pointed to an improved job market.
"In July, we added 35 thousand jobs since 2011," said Gin. "And that's the best year over year comparison since the year 2000."