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Inland Empire Braces for Shopping Season.001
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Inland Empire Consumer Spending Up

Consumer and business spending in the Inland Empire is on the rise, according to data released Wednesday.

Taxable sales in Riverside and San Bernardino counties grew 6.4 percent between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of last year, the UC Riverside School of Business Administration Center for Economic Forecasting and Development reported in its analysis of local spending.

Sales were up 8.9 percent in San Bernardino County and 3.7 percent in Riverside County during that 12-month period, the most recent data available. The two-county region outpaced California, which posted three percent growth in taxable sales in that time, the report stated.

In the Inland Empire, consumer spending increased in almost every category. Only fuel and service stations posted a significant decline – 11.2 percent – and much of that was caused by a substantial drop in gasoline prices.

“Low gas prices may have translated into weakness in fuel and service stations taxable sales, but savings to consumers and businesses at the fuel pump show up in additional spending elsewhere in the economy,” said Robert Kleinhenz, the center’s director of research, in a statement. “The overall increase in taxable sales reflects the improved economic well-being of households and businesses in the region compared to just a few years ago.”

Building and construction posted the highest increase in business spending in the Inland Empire, at 14 percent. Automobiles and transportation recorded the highest increase in consumer spending, 7.9 percent.

The report is the second edition of the Inland Empire Regional Intelligence Report, which is published three times a year. It breaks down multiple categories of the Inland Empire economy.

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