San Francisco Bay Area economy looking bright for 2013
Updated 11:03 pm, Sunday, December 23, 2012
If the Bay Area economy were considered a stock, analysts would definitely rate it a “strong buy” for 2013.
“You folks will continue to outperform the U.S. economy and all of California,” predicts Wells Fargo’s chief economist, John Silvia.
Of course, prognosticators can be wrong. Many had predicted the state’s unemployment rate, for example, would continue in double digits through 2013. In fact, unemployment dipped below 10 percent last month for the first time in four years and continued to fall even further in the Bay Area. And job growth numbers were led by industries such as transportation, construction and leisure and hospitality, rather than high tech, which has almost single-handedly powered the local economy.
Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, said: “2013 will be the year the recovery becomes real to many more people, not just for those in the tech sector. I don’t see that abating.”
Neither does Jon Haveman, chief economist at the business-oriented Bay Area Council. “It’s a dynamic time. There’s an intense march to occupy vacant space in San Francisco. Silicon Valley and the mid-Peninsula are very hot, and there’s a real uptick in the East Bay.”
Cascade of construction
The evidence is not hard to find. A phalanx of construction cranes from Rincon Hill to upper Market Street. At Mission and Fremont streets, Los Angeles’ Kilroy Realty Trust is building a 27-story tower for Salesforce.com. Kilroy is building 560,000 square feet of space in Sunnyvale for LinkedIn, one of a slew of new projects in Silicon Valley. In the East Bay, work begins in 2013 on the $1 billion transformation of the old Oakland Army Base into a regional shipping and logistics center.
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