NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)-- The Hampton Roads economy will grow 1.19 percent this year. That's up from last year's 0.8 percent, but it's down from the region's annual 30 year average of 2.46 percent.
It's also lower than the national average.
Those were the cold hard numbers laid out on Wednesday by the Old Dominion University Economic Forecasting Project before the Hampton Roads Chamber.
The university's economists have many worries, not the least of which is next week's next federal fiscal cliff. On February 8th, the current Continuing Resolution funding government will expire, and the government possibly shutdown, again. This is the fifth time this has happened since October first.
"It's not good for Hampton Roads, because we have the anticipation of increased defense spending, but it's locked up in Congress," said economic professor Bob McNab. "Congress needs to appropriate bills in an expeditious manner. Simply put, we can grow, but we have this constraint that's political."
Other problems include the possible return of automatic sequestration budget cuts, the potential for another round of base closings, and Florida politicians trying to convince President Trump to move a Norfolk-based Navy aircraft carrier to Mayport.
"I'm always concerned when anyone wants to take any ships away from here," said economics professor Vinod Agarwal. "That's a significant loss, a significant loss."