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Inland manufacturing grows for fourth consecutive month

The Inland Empire’s manufacturing sector stayed solid in January, according to data. 

The region’s purchasing managers’ index last month was 54.4, a slight improvement compared with December and the fourth consecutive month that number has been above 50, according to the monthly report by the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State University San Bernardino.

Fifty or above means manufacturing, and the local economy, is expanding, 49 or below means they’re shrinking. Three consecutive months are needed to establish a trend, either growth or no growth.

Since the index has been above 50 for four consecutive months, Inland manufacturing, and the Inland economy, are moving in the right direction.

Production and new orders both slipped slightly between December and January, but both numbers remained comfortably above 50. Commodity prices were up, inventory was down and supply deliveries increased.

The employment index, which has been up and down lately, increased considerably. Perhaps best of all, local manufacturers expressed confidence in the local economy: 23 percent said they expect it to improve during the next three months, while 62 percent said they expect it to stay the same.

Only 15 said they expect the Inland economy to get weaker during that time, according to the index.

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