A new, comprehensive look at the U.S. Department of Defense’s local presence predicts that the military spending that San Diego County enjoys will decline 1 percent in the new fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1. That decline will be about 3 percent after inflation is factored in, said Lynn Reaser, the principal author of the study, released Sept. 23 and commissioned by SDMAC, the San Diego Military Advisory Council.
The council estimated that the Pentagon spent $25.2 billion in San Diego County during fiscal 2014 and that the figure will decline to $25 billion in fiscal 2015. The number takes in military salaries, pensions and defense procurement, among other DoD expenditures.
San Diego is billed as America’s largest concentration of military might. During a news conference, community leaders including Mayor Kevin Faulconer and SDMAC President Jamie Moraga vowed not to take that for granted.
Challenges ahead include a return to across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, which begin again in 2016. However, other factors such as the U.S. Navy’s plan to concentrate more ships in the Pacific may cushion any blow.
Reaser, the study’s main author, is chief economist for the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University.
For more on the SDMAC study, watch for the Sept. 29 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.