Chief Economist Lynn Reaser, spoke to over 100 San Diego Business leaders at Torrey Pines Bank’s Aventine presentation, “An Economic Surge: Is Anything Holding Us Back?” on Jan. 22. Dr. Reaser spoke about the aftermath of the fiscal cliff, interest rates, global markets, insurance/healthcare and the stock market at the event at The Hyatt Regency, La Jolla at Aventine. She also addressed:
- The U.S. economy should see better growth as 2013 proceeds with the assumed resolution of critical budget issues, aggressive support by the Federal Reserve, and healing of household balance sheets.
- California is outperforming the nation in terms of job growth and should see further gains across various sectors in 2013. The unemployment rate should ease to a still high level of around 9.0%.
- The state’s fiscal position is gradually improving due to the economic recovery and voter approved tax increases. The Governor’s proposed budget shows the 2013-14 General Fund ending with a reserve of $1.0 billion. Unfunded health and retirement benefits still amount to over $180 billion.
- San Diego’s economy continues to recover with core support from its defense, technology, and tourism sectors. Health care and foreign trade will also be key drivers.
- Housing in the San Diego region is beginning to rebound, with an expected 5 percent to 6 percent rise in prices and 7 percent advance in sales forecast for 2013.
- Sequestration poses a major risk since defense cuts and reductions in research would strike the region hard.
- A total of about 25,000 jobs should be added in San Diego County in 2013, which should help push the jobless rate down towards 7.5 percent by the end of the year.