One month after Inland Empire manufacturing showed signs of retracting for the first time in nearly two years, the sector has come roaring back.
The region’s purchasing managers index was 58.1 in September, up from 49 in August, the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino reported.
Any number below 50 indicates manufacturing in Riverside and San Bernardino is retracting, 50 or above means it’s expanding. Because it takes three consecutive months in either direction to establish a trend, last month’s index was nothing to panic about.
Still, it’s reassuring to have turned things around so quickly.
“It appears that last month’s figure may have been a statistical anomaly, and that the Inland Empire economy is continuing its slow and steady growth,” the report states.
Production and new orders, key components of the index, were both up in September: 59.3 and 50, up from 48.3 and 41.4 in August respectively.
Employment went up 20 points to 64.8, the highest figure recorded in that category since 2018.
“Seems like we are having a better time getting new employees,” said one purchasing manager who participated in last month’s survey.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said they expect the Inland economy to remain the same during the next three months, and 48 percent predicted it would get weaker. None said they expect it to get better.