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I think “harbinger” is a fantastic word, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce used it all over the place in its report released today forecasting San Diego’s economic activity for 2007.

San Diego, the report said, led the state and the nation in economic expansion for the last several years. That’s due, in part, to the region’s diversified economy and technology industry.

But a harbinger can’t always remain a harbinger, and that was clear in the report – for the first time since 2000, San Diego’s economy grew slower than California’s did in 2005. And it will also trail the national economy’s growth in 2006.

While San Diego led out in the expansion, the inevitable cycle of growth now shows San Diego’s momentum slowing in 2006. The slowdown is foreseen continuing into 2007, before revitalizing in 2008.

San Diego’s gross regional product is growing about 2.9 percent this year, the chamber reported. That compares to a California growth rate of 3.0 percent and a national rate of 3.2 percent.

The report points to two major variables – the “bursting of the speculative bubble in residential real estate” and the “effects of high and volatile fuel prices” – in the slowing of growth.

Click here for a PDF of the entire report.


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