January 27, 2007 at 1:19 PM #8284little ladyParticipant
San Diego economy at a crawl, experts say
By Bruce V. Bigelow
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 27, 2007
For years, new-home construction was the engine that drove the growth of the San Diego economy. But since the housing industry hit the brakes, regional growth has slowed to a crawl, local economists said at a forum yesterday.
AdvertisementExperts predicted that local economic growth would be “weak” – at roughly 2 percent – through the first six months of this year. That’s comparable to the national economy, which one economist described as “disappointing but not a complete disaster.”
The outlook for San Diego County job growth in 2007 is “very slow,” with job gains pegged at 13,000, or roughly 1 percent of the regional work force. Labor experts said unemployment would probably run at slightly more than 4 percent.
Home sales appear likely to recover slowly from last year’s downturn. But the high cost of housing has emerged as the most critical issue facing both employers and employees in San Diego County.
In fact, housing could prove to be the primary factor in prospects for the region, speakers at the 23rd Annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable said.
Home sales have emerged as the main variable, said James D. Hamilton, an economist at the University of California San Diego.
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