A report released yesterday shows that the Port of San Diego plays a critical role in San Diego County's economic rebound by pumping more than $7.6 billion a year into the region from employment, sales, and purchases of goods and services. The report is based on 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.

"The data confirms the Port of San Diego is a powerful regional economic engine with substantial benefits reaching far and wide," commented Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Dan Malcolm. "As we plan ahead, our goal is to find opportunities for additional economic growth, balanced with public open space and continued investment in the future of the tidelands and the region."

Key tenants for the port includes the marine cargo terminals, the convention center and the cruise terminals.

Although cruise calls declined from a high in 2008 of 255 to 2013, when 77 ships stopped in San Diego, the forecast is for more ships to be calling in the next few years  (as the Mexican Riviera market rebounds).

According to the report, passengers and crew spent $20.1 million on personal consumption expenditures, and the cruise lines $11.1 million in San Diego in 2013. About $4 million of the cruise line and passenger/crew expenditure were estimated to have been spent in the immediate port district.

The analysis, completed by Economic and Planning Systems, Inc., an economics consulting company, and commissioned by the port, breaks down the overall economic impact of the port into two categories, direct impact and secondary impact, the latter including both indirect and induced effects. The port's direct economic impact grew 8 percent and jobs grew 9 percent in two years. The direct economic impact is derived from sales, employment, and operating expenditures (purchases of goods and services) occurring on port-managed property.

Secondary impacts comprise the "ripple" effects from the direct impacts and includes both indirect impact, representing spending on goods and services required to run Port businesses, and induced effects, representing employee spending on consumer goods and services.

According to the report, more than 33,000 jobs are located on tidelands, generating more than $4.4 billion in direct economic output. This represents an 8 percent increase in direct economic impact over the previous analysis completed using 2011 data. The number of jobs has also increased to 33,356 in 2013, a 9 percent gain.