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Manufacturing in Inland Empire

Inland manufacturing perks up … for now

The Inland Empire’s manufacturing sector showed signs of life in April, one month after one of its weakest showings in recent memory.

The region’s purchasing managers index was 50 last month, according to data released on June 1 by the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino.

That’s a major improvement from March when the index was 46.9, but it’s not enough to show that manufacturing in Riverside and San Bernardino counties growing. It takes three consecutive months of 50 or above to establish a trend, either up or down.

“Given the overall downward trend in the local PMI, this increase is not a cause for celebration yet,” said Barbara Sirotnik, director of the institute and a co-author of the report.

Production, one of the Index’s two key components, registered 47.9, down from 50 in March, a less-than-spectacular showing. The index’s other key element, new orders, stood at 43.8, up from 42.3

New orders have now registered below 50 – meaning a decline – in nine of the last 12 months, according to the institute.

The March index did include two positives: employment increased to 54.6, up from 48.1, while the commodity price index went from  57.7 to 52.1, a sign that inflation is easing in the Inland region.

The overall Inventory level (units, not dollars) registered 52.1 in March, an increase from last month’s 46.2, according to the index.


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