Manufacturing in the Inland Empire grew for the sixth consecutive month in May, although not as strongly as it expanded in previous months.
The region’s purchasing managers index during May was 54.8, Cal State San Bernardino’s Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis reported Monday.
That’s a sharp decline from April, when the index in Riverside and San Bernardino counties was 62.7, but it’s still well above 50, the dividing line for whether the region’s manufacturing sector is expanding or contracting.
Each of the major components that make up the index – commodity prices, new orders, inventory, employment and supplier deliveries – were down month-over month in April.
Two categories recorded deep drops: production fell to 56.5, down from 65.9, while new orders dropped to 51.6, down from 67.1, according to the monthly index.
Forty percent of the purchasing managers surveyed said they expect the local economy to improve in the next three months, while 53 percent said they expect it stay the same, according to the index.
Only seven percent said they expect the local economy to get weaker.
Nine of the 31 companies surveyed added employees in May, according to the index.