For the third straight month, the San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index remains in a range pointing to solid growth. The November index was unchanged from October’s healthy 55.6. An index greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months.

“San Joaquin businesses boosted employment at a strong pace for the month. Over the past 12 months, the region has experienced job growth of 1.4 percent, which is a bit above the pace of the nation,” said Dr. Ernie Goss, research faculty with the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. “This is boost is consistent with the improving labor market for the San Joaquin region and is a full half-percentage point above expectations recorded just six months ago.”

The index, produced by Fresno State’s 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: For a fifth straight month, the hiring gauge was at or above the growth neutral 50.0 threshold. The employment index improved to 56.2 from October’s 55.8.
  • Wholesale prices: The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of purchased raw materials and supplies, dipped slightly to 58.5 from 58.6 in October, indicating modest inflationary pressures at the wholesale level.
  • Business confidence: Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, as captured by the business confidence index, rose to 59.4 from October’s 42.2.
  • Inventories: Businesses increased inventories of raw materials and supplies for November. The November inventory climbed to 57.4 from 55.7 in October.
  • Trade: The new export orders index moved above growth neutral for November. The index increased to 51.5 from 45.9 in October. The import index stood at 48.3, which is up from 46.5 in October.
  • Other components: Other components of the November Business Conditions Index were: new orders at 54.9, down from 55.8 in October; production or sales at 55.7, down from October’s 57.6; and delivery lead time at 53.6, up from last month’s 53.0.

For more information, contact Goss at 559.278.2352.

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