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Economy

San Diego Economist: Defense, Tourism To Lead Region's Growth

Point Loma Nazarene University economist Lynn Reaser presents her annual economic forecast, March 3, 2017.
Kris Arciaga
Point Loma Nazarene University economist Lynn Reaser presents her annual economic forecast, March 3, 2017.

San Diego Economist: Defense, Tourism To Lead Region’s Growth
A top San Diego economist said the region should continue to see economic growth in the coming year.

One of San Diego's top economists expects the coming year to be a good one for the region.

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Lynn Reaser's annual economic forecast predicts California and San Diego will do well. The Point Loma Nazarene University economist expects job growth, more defense spending and a boost for the region's tourism industry.

One dark cloud on the economic horizon is the prospect of a tighter federal immigration policy.

"Our construction industries, our agricultural industries, our high-tech industries, desperately are needing labor force growth. The labor market is tightening, along with our overall tourist industry. So, we do need labor and we might be running into our own domestic restraints," Reaser said.

Reaser said new state employment numbers show San Diego doing better than both the state and nation when it comes to job creation. And she said that's likely to continue this year.

Reaser also projects growth for the military and for tourism.

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The outlook is mixed for commercial real estate and housing remains in short supply. She said the problem isn't just for the poor.

"There is also, the middle class. The teachers, the firemen, people that we rely on everyday for services who can't qualify for subsidized federal housing, but they can't afford housing in the marketplace," Reaser said.

Reaser expects home prices to increase as the region continues to run a housing deficit.