Manufacturing in the Inland Empire kept growing in September, albeit at a relatively slow pace.
The region’s purchasing managers index was 51.3 last month, essentially unchanged from August, according to the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino.
The index has been above 50 for five consecutive months, two more than needed to declare that manufacturing in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is growing Fifty or above means growth, below 50 means contraction.
Production fell slightly last month, to 54.2, while new orders rose slightly, to 56.3. Production and new orders are components of the index, and both have been above 50 for four consecutive months, a sign of solid growth.
Employment returned to 50 after two straight months below that benchmark, but commodity prices rose slightly to 63.8, a sign local prices remain susceptible to inflation.
Despite those relatively good numbers, Inland purchasing managers remained pessimistic, as they almost always are.
Only 4.2 percent of those surveyed said they expect the local economy to improve during the next three months, 45.8 percent said they expect it to remain the same and 50 percent said they expect it to slow during that time.