For the 17th consecutive month, the San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index points to growth. The April index jumped to 59.9 from March’s 57.2. An index greater than 50.0 indicates a positive economy over the next three to six months.
“According to our survey results over the past several months, economic growth will improve over the next three to six months. The end of the West Coast dock dispute has had a very positive impact on the regional economy, especially for wholesale trade firms,” said Dr. Ernie Goss, research faculty with the Craig School of Business at Fresno State.
The index, produced by the Craig School, is a leading economic indicator from a survey of individuals making company purchasing decisions in the counties of Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare.
The index uses the same methodology as that of the national Institute for Supply Management.
Other survey findings:
- Employment: The region’s hiring gauge climbed to 64.9 from 63.0 in March. Goss points to the shipping issues as a cause of the decline. “Even though the region’s unemployment rate remains well above the state and national jobless rates, non-farm employment has expanded by more than 10 percent since the beginning of the national recovery in 2009,” Goss said. “These gains will continue for 2015.”
- Wholesale prices: The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of purchased raw materials and supplies, slumped to 46.4 from 47.0 in March.
- Business confidence: Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, captured by the business confidence index, fell to 58.7 from March’s 63.1.
- Inventories: Businesses increased inventories of raw materials and supplies for the month but at a slower pace. The April inventory reading declined to 56.9 from last month’s 59.3.
- Trade: The new export order index fell to a weaker 50.6 from March’s 58.4. The import index slumped to 38.0 from 48.6 in March.
- Other components: Other components of the April Business Conditions Index were: new orders at 56.1, down from 49.8 in March; production or sales at 57.6, up from March’s 52.7; and delivery lead time at 64.2, up from 61.4 in March.
For more information, contact Goss at 559.278.2352.