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Manufacturing growth slows

Inland Empire manufacturing kept growing during November, but not at the pace it has in recent months, according to data released Monday.

The region’s purchasing managers index last month was 54, comfortably above the 50 benchmark that determines whether manufacturing is expanding or contracting, the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino reported.

That was a decline from 61.3 in October, but since the index has now been above 50 for 23 consecutive months – nearly a record – the drop is not considered reason to panic.

“There is no cause for concern,” the monthly report stated. “The dip this month only means that the growth is slowing somewhat.”

Production and new orders, both key elements of the index, were also above 50 down month-over-month in November. Both declines can be attributed to the completion of holiday-related manufacturing.

The region’s purchasing managers were not as optimistic in November as they were in October. Twenty eight percent said they expect the local economy to get stronger during the next three months, compared with 33 percent in October.

Fifty two percent said they expect it to remain the same, down from 60 percent, while 21 percent said they expect it to get weaker. In October, only seven percent said they expected the Inland economy to slow during the upcoming three months, the report stated.

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