A survey of business-purchasing executives across the San Joaquin Valley suggests the region’s economy is likely to continue expanding over the next three to six months.
The January edition of the San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index, prepared by economist Ernie Goss for Fresno State’s Craig School of Business, reached its highest level in nearly two years, climbing to 59.5. That’s up five points from the December index of 54.5. An index of 50 is considered growth neutral; anything above that indicates economic expansion in the coming months.
The index surveys purchasing managers and executives at businesses in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties on indicators including employment, wholesale prices, inventory levels, imports and exports, orders, production, sales, delivery lead time and business confidence.
“After three straight months with readings below growth neutral the past summer, the index has now moved above growth neutral for five straight months,” Goss said. “The region is currently experiencing manufacturing growth combined with upturns in regional construction.”
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Business confidence among purchasing managers was the highest component of the broader index, climbing from 64.4 in December to a “very strong” 70.6 score, Goss said. Other indices were employment at 53.3; wholesale prices at 60.4; inventories of raw materials and supplies, 65.1; export orders, 54.0; imports, 56.7; new orders, 62.1; production or sales, 65.9; and delivery lead time, 50.9.