There was good news and not-so-good news in the Inland Empire’s September purchasing managers index, which was released Monday.
First, the good news: the index was a solid 55, the ninth consecutive month the index was above 50, according to the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino.
Fifty or above means manufacturing is expanding. Below that indicates it’s getting smaller, so Inland manufacturing and the local economy “remain comfortably in growth mode,” the report stated.
Now the not-so-good news: new orders in Riverside and San Bernardino counties dropped substantially, from 63.3 in August to 48.4 in September, while the region’s production index went from 61.7 to 57.8.
Employment stayed above 50 for the ninth consecutive month, although it also dropped, from 60 to 51.6 between August and September.
Commodity prices were also down and supplier deliveries slowed. The latter is a good sign because it means suppliers are busy.
Thirty nine percent of the purchasing managers surveyed said they expect the local economy to get stronger during the next three months, while 50 percent said they expect it to stay the same and 11 percent anticipate it getting weaker during that time.
Those numbers were virtually unchanged from last month, according to the index.