The Lubbock Economic Index continued climbing for the last month of 2011.

The LEI increased for each of the past three months, and five of the last seven months, according to Lubbock National Bank.

December’s LEI of 123.3 is up slightly from November 2011’s 123.1, but is still slightly lower than December 2010’s 123.6. The Index is still down 8 percent from its peak of 134.0 in September 2008.

Retail spending in the 4th quarter of 2011 is up 6.5 percent from the same quarter in 2010, and there were no employment sectors that posted an overall job loss in 2011, including the government sector, which rose nearly 2 percent year-over-year.

The employment sector with the greatest gains is trade, transportation, and utilities, which saw a 5 percent increase over 2010. The information sector remained steady with no growth or loss.

Construction activity remains down, posting the lowest levels since the year 2000 in valuation of building permits issued.

The Lubbock Consumer Price Index remained somewhat high, with higher than average price change and steady rising pressure on prices throughout 2011.

The rate of year-over-year change at the beginning of the year was just under 1 percent, climbing to over 3 percent by the end of 2011.

The food/grocery sector of the CPI rose to 4.5 percent in December, up from November’s 4.2 percent. Rate of change in the Lubbock health care CPI sector also climbed slightly to 3.4 percent in December, compared with November’s 3.3 percent.

The CPI-U, which is the benchmark CPI for consumers of all goods and services at the national level declined to 3 percent in December, down from November’s 3.4 percent.

You can read the entire report here.