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SAN DIEGO- The remainder of 2003 should prove to be profitable for San Diego County, with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. predicting healthy tourism and residential sectors, as well as growth in both personal income and nonfarm employment.

“San Diego continues to be a hot bed of new residential and hotel development,” according to a recent release issued by the non-profit organization, which is based in Los Angeles. The number of housing unit permits is expected to increase from last year’s figure of 14,957 to 17,890 by the end of this year, according to statistics listed in the 2003 LAEDC Mid-Year Forecast. In addition, “there is significant construction of high-rise apartments and condos in the downtown area, which would seem counter to the low-rise development usually associated with Southern California,” the report points out. New home prices have risen 11.4% to $487,935, while the median price in the resale market should increase by 16.5% to $408,010. On the hospitality side, “the tourism sector continues to turn in a healthy performance, with Indian gaming becoming more of a force.”

When it comes to the region’s economy, LAEDC researchers say nonfarm employment should expand by 11,000 jobs or 0.9% in 2003, “with losses in manufacturing and professional and scientific services.” This pattern of growth should increase in 2004, with a prediction of 21,700 new jobs to be created in the nonfarm sector. The unemployment rate here should average 4.6 % in 2003 and 4.3% in 2004, the LAEDC report notes. In addition, the county’s personal income should jump 4.5% in 2003, with per capita personal income projected to grow by 2.6% to $34,477. LAEDC’s researchers say that figure is “the second highest level in greater Southern California.”

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