Local economy to outpace state, nation, report predicts

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s gross domestic product should rise 5 percent this year, outpacing both the state and national economies, according to a report released Monday by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

San Diego’s GDP this year is projected to be $218.6 billion, said Kelly Cunningham, an economist and senior fellow at the institute. Last year, it was estimated to be $208.2 billion. While that works out to a 5 percent increase, when adjusted for inflation, the local economy will see only 3 percent of real growth.

Cunningham said a diversified mix of high-technology businesses will lead the economic improvement.

“San Diego continues to emerge from the great recession that technically ended five years ago,” he said.

“The recession hastened economic transformation that had been ongoing for some time,” Cunningham said. “The disruption accelerated transition from historical dependence upon tourism, military bases, defense procurement and real estate development to a much more diversified and entrenched mix of scientific research, development and productive innovation.”

The NUSIPR report also projected more than 40,000 people will move into San Diego this year, attracted by brightening job prospects and a projected dip in unemployment.

Pay, however, will continue to be clustered at the higher and lower salary levels, squeezing the middle class, according to Cunningham.

The report projects a continued improvement in San Diego’s median household income, which is estimated to have improved last year. In 2013, the figure, which is adjusted for inflation, reached a 20-year low.