Baltimore-D.C. region is 2nd in federal spending

August 07, 1991|By David Conn

Martin Marietta Corp.'s receipt in November of a $526 million contract from the federal Housing and Urban Development department was unusual, and not only for its size. The 12-year contract was among a dwindling pool of federal non-defense spending awarded to companies in the Baltimore-Washington area last year.

More typical was the $5.6 million contract that Cockeysville-based AAI Corp. won in October to improve targeting systems for fighter planes and helicopters.

A sharp increase in such defense contracts put the Baltimore-Washington common market firmly in second place in federal spending last year, the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association said yesterday. Only Los Angeles ranked higher.

The $14.26 billion in total federal contracts awarded in the Baltimore-Washington region last year was up 7.6 percent, or $1 billion, from 1989, the association reported. That was the largest dollar increase among the top 10 markets in the nation, according to the group.

And despite the end of the Cold War, the value of defense contracts rose 16.1 percent last year, to $9 billion, the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association said. The organization, which publishes marketing information about the Baltimore-Washington region, includes a number of counties in Northern Virginia, a defense industry stronghold.

Non-defense contracts, such as Martin Marietta's, fell by 4.4 percent last year, to $5.24 billion. Those results come despite recent efforts by area defense contractors to broaden their base of business.

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