Port of Virginia

A straddle carrier operator drove in the rail yard at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. A new dredging project is positioning the port to expand its capacity and hold ultra-large container vessels.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The economy in Virginia's Hampton Roads region is expected to continue to grow this year. And it's mostly because of a surge in military spending.

The state's coastal area will also benefit economically from increases in tourism as well as traffic that comes through the Port of Virginia.

The projection came late last month from the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University's Strome College of Business. The school issued a report on the region's economy in 2020.

Eastern Virginia is home to the world's largest navy base as well as military installations that include the joint U.S. Army and Air Force base Langley-Eustis. About 40 percent of economic activity in Hampton Roads is connected to the Department of Defense.

Old Dominion University estimates that military spending contributed more than $21 billion to the regional economy in 2019. It's expected to rise to about $23 billion this year.

The university forecasts that economic growth in the region will outpace Virginia and the United States.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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