Monday, April 02, 2007

2007 Economy: Slow But Steady

2007 Economy: Slow But Steady -- Vallejo/Fairfield Forecast to Experience Growth
By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - The California economy will continue to grow but at a slower pace, due to increasing energy prices and the cool down of the housing market, a business thinktank said.

"The slowing U.S. economy, a recovery from overshooting long-run equilibrium in housing, and high energy prices will take some wind out of the California economy's sails," said Chuck Williams, dean of the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, which issued the report.

"The good news is, that despite all of these things California is still not taking on water."

In the latest report released by the university's Business Forecasting Center, the gross state product will expand at 4.5 percent in 2007, while accelerating to a 5.2 percent average growth in 2008-2009. The center produces quarterly economic forecasts of California and 11 metropolitan areas, from Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the Vallejo/Fairfield area, wages and salaries are expected to increase gradually from 6.2 percent in 2007, to 6.5 percent in 2008, and 6.9 percent in 2009. The number of housing units will increase at a small pace from 384 in 2007, to 401 in 2008 and 457 in 2009. Excess housing inventory will cause developers to slow building homes.

For the state, the highest employment growth is expected to be in the professional and business services industries, with an average of 3.3 percent in 2007-2009. Other sectors that will enjoy employment growth are transportation, warehousing and utility with a 2.7 percent growth, followed by leisure and hospitality with a 1.7 percent anticipated growth.

According to the report, the declined in the housing market will cause the construction industry to lose 2.4 percent of jobs in 2007, and 2.2 percent in 2008. In 2009, the job losses will slow to -1 percent. Manufacturers will also suffer job losses through 2009.

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or

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