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SD Economists See Improvement This Year

The economic recovery will continue this year, but at a frustratingly slow pace, San Diego economists say.

San Diego's economy is expected to get healthier this year, but not healthy enough to completely recover from the Great Recession. That was the consensus at today's annual Economic Rountable at the University of San Diego.

How much the region's economic health improve will improve in 2012 was up for debate. Point Loma Nazarene University's Lynn Reaser sees signs of a broad recovery. But San Diego Association of Government's economist Marney Cox said the bounce back won't be very robust. He also thinks recent job-gain numbers from the state, are too optimistic, as they were last year.

"It looked like we were growing by 15,000 jobs in the preliminary data, and we ended up losing 10,000 jobs. I'm expecting the same thing to happen this year," Cox said.

USD's Ryan Ratcliff said the local job market will improve, but he still expects it to be a couple of years before all the jobs lost during the economic crash are replaced.

Manufacturing, construction and financial services were the loss leaders when the economy crashed in 2007. Those sectors of the economy are expected to continue to struggle in coming months. But Reaser sees shoots of hope sprouting on the landscape.

"We are starting to see, I think, a fairly broad based recovery in San Diego," she said. "Tourism is coming back. Technology is adding jobs. The financial services is seeing some pick-up. I think that even housing will see some gradual improvement in 2012."

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