Written by The Business Journal Staff
The latest San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions index fell to 55.7 percent from December’s 59.1, signaling continued healthy growth in the next three to six months.
The index has remained above the growth neutral for 17 months in a row.
“For a fourth consecutive month, the survey tracked weakness among non-durable goods producers, except for food processors,” said Ernie Goss of the research faculty at Fresno State’s Craig School of Business. “However, gains for durable good manufacturers more than offset weaknesses among non-durable good producers.”
The index is a leading economic indicator from a survey of individuals making company purchasing decisions for firms in the counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare. The index is produced using the same methodology as that of the national Institute of Supply management.
The index found in regards to employment, the gauge sank below growth central for the first time since December 2016, slumping in January to 45 percent from 53.6.
The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of purchased raw materials and supplies, dipped to 80.6 from 83.3 in December. Business confidence also fell 69.1 percent from the previous month’s 70.1.
Inventory dropped from 62.6 percent to 58.8, remaining nonetheless above the growth neutral. In a sign of growth, though still weak, the new export orders index went up to 35 percent from 30, while import index fell to 64 from 69.7.
Other components of the December Business Conditions Index were: new orders at 51 percent, down from 52; production sales at 61 from 61.9; and delivery lead time at 62.7, down from last month’s 65.4.