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Another Good Month for Inland Empire Manufacturing
Another Good Month for Inland Empire Manufacturing

Manufacturing returns to form

As expected, manufacturing in the Inland Empire bounced back in January, according to data released

The region’s purchasing managers index was 56.8 during the first month of the year, up from 47.4 in December, the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis reported.

Anything 50 or above means the region’s manufacturing sector is expanding, so Wednesday’s report was good news. However, it was not a surprise.

The December drop was a seasonal trend – mostly a decline in Christmas-related manufacturing – that would correct itself once the new year began, institute officials predicted, and they were right.

Most of the indicators that make up the index were above the 50 percent baseline in January, including production, which went from 53.2 to 67.7, and new orders, which went from 48.4 to 61.3 The region’s employment index also started expanding again, from 46.8 in December to 53.2 in January, the institute reported.

Should the index stay above 50 for the next two months, manufacturing in the Inland Empire will be officially growing again. The region’s purchasing manufacturers apparently believe that could happen: 42 percent said they expect the local economy to improve during the next three months, up from 31 percent in December.

Thirty five percent said they expect it to stay the same – up from 52 percent – while 23 percent said they expect it to get weaker, according to the institute.

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