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Navy spending in Hampton Roads down $650 million

Old Dominion University Economics Professor Bob McNab said, "We need to view [the report] with caution."

NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy spent nearly $15.8 billion in Hampton Roads during the 2020 fiscal year.

But, according to the annual Economic Impact Report from Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, that was about $650 million less than the Navy spent the year before.

The Navy says the decline was primarily due to a decrease in spending for the procurement of goods and services at the region's six naval installations, including construction, maintenance and repair.

A spokesperson for the Navy said the pandemic played a role.

Old Dominion University Economics Professor Bob McNab said he wasn't especially concerned about the drop -- yet.

"If we're sitting here next year discussing another downward report, if we're sitting here next year looking at another reduction is Navy spending and personnel in the region, then we're going to see the emergence of a trend," he said. "And that would become somewhat worrisome."

While overall, spending did decrease, the report showed that the number of active duty personnel went up: from 88,000 to 89,000.

The number of ships (55) and aircraft squadrons (34) stayed the same.

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