A surge in building permits saw the Augusta Leading Economic Index increase 0.8% from June, the largest one month change for almost five years. The index remains 1.5% higher than July 2019. 568 permits were issued representing over $70 million of future housing development. Over half the permits were for multi-unit structures reflecting national figures showing multi-family housing permits jumping 22 percent in July. The Labor Market Index remained unchanged from June and is 0.9% higher than July 2018.