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Economic growth of South Bay triples that of county as whole, study finds

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SAN DIEGO — The pace of the South Bay’s economic recovery from the recession has tripled that of San Diego County as a whole, according to a report scheduled to be delivered Friday by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

The growth of gross domestic product from 2010 to 2013 in the southern part of the region was 37.6 percent, compared to 12.9 percent for the entire county, said the institute’s Kelly Cunningham, who will deliver the report at the 25th annual South County Economic Summit at the San Diego Convention Center.

He said the economic expansion was fueled by an increasing number of high tech and service companies now located in the area, growth along the border with Mexico and gains by business on San Diego Bay.

“It’s very impressive — having that kind of growth is almost stunning,” Cunningham said.

He said personal income in the South County grew by 69.4 percent during the time period, while employment was up 29.2 percent, an indication that people are living as well as working in the area, not commuting to the north.

“People tend to spend more money where they live rather than where they earn money,” Cunningham said. “This brings more prosperity localized to the South County region.”

The report says the South County’s GDP was $14.6 billion in 2010, or 8.4 percent of the entire county’s $175.2 billion figure. By 2013, the South County GDP was $20.1 billion, or 10.2 percent of the overall county’s figure of $197.9 billion.

Cunningham took his data from zip codes that encompass Bonita, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro.