Welcome to the new century. The sky didn’t fall, our economy didn’t cave in and our debt didn’t disappear either , so in other words, just another basic New Year’s celebration.
The year 2000 is going to be, in my estimation, a duplicate of l999 with a little more zip. By that I mean a little better than what the economists have predicted.
San Diego is now on everyone’s map. We have arrived, as they say. As our economy has continued to grow and diversify, so has our fame. We were once the best-kept secret in the universe; now we are the best place to live, work and play.
In a May l999 article titled “Sun, fun and Ph.D.s, Too,” Forbes magazine discussed how top research institutions help shape the economic fortunes of cities. Just on Torrey Pines Mesa we have UCSD with six Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of the National Science Foundation. Sprinkle in Gateway, Inc., SAIC, Sempra Energy and Qualcomm, Inc., and what was once just occasional mentions in the business press is now rave notices.
A year ago Qualcomm stock was trading around $25 a share. Just before Christmas, its stock stood at $465 as Qualcomm performed a stock split of four-to-one. Not too many cities can lay claim to that kind of growth.
Take a look at our Gross Regional Product growth and you will see for yourself that even in the mid-90s we still had a growth curve:
In l955, 11 percent of our GRP was defense-industry oriented. By l995, defense represented only 1.6 percent. Manufacturing moved up to the No. 1 spot and has not been bumped out since.
Two areas of growth in 2000 will be construction and tourism. Major projects include the San Diego Convention Center expansion, North and South Embarcadero projects, the East Village Redevelop
Gross Regional Product Growth
(In billions of dollars)
1972 , $6.2
l990 , $63.1
l991 , $65.3
l992 , $66.3
l993 , $67.9
l994 , $70.6
l995 , $73.4
l996 , $77.4
l997 , $82.6
l998 , $87.1
l999 , $91.6
2000 , $96.6-plus?