The Inland Empire’s manufacturing sector has once again bounced back for a bad month.
The region’s purchasing managers index was 54 in October, comfortably above the benchmark that determines whether that sector is expanding or contracting, according to the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino.
October’s report continues a recent trend of volatility in the institute’s monthly report on manufacturing: the index was 46.3 in June, 55 in July, 50 in August and 49.7 in September. That up-and-down pattern makes it difficult to determine where the Inland manufacturing sector is at the moment, particularly since it takes three straight months in either direction to establish a trend.
On the positive side, production and new orders (two of the key indicators in the PMI) both increased significantly in October: production increased from 56.7 to 60.0 this month and new orders were also up, from 53.3 to 63.3.
Employment also increased from 41.7 to 50.0 this month, but supplier deliveries dropped from 50.0 to 46.7. Commodity prices dropped significantly from 66.7 to 51.7, showing that inflationary pressures are easing slightly.
Finally, 11 percent of the purchasing managers surveyed predicted the local economy will get stronger during the next three months, while 31 percent said it will get weaker and 58 percent said they expect it to stay the same during that time.